Brian Mast faces STOCK Act questions after Virgin Galactic investment

Brian mast
A 30-day grace period will likely save Mast from any potential punishment.

Republican U.S. Rep. Brian Mast appears to have missed a deadline to report a purchase of up to $100,000 in Virgin Galactic stock, according to a report from Dave Levinthal of Business Insider.

The Business Insider report notes that purchase came weeks after Virgin Galactic President Mike Moses testified in front of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Aviation.

Mast sits on that committee, though appears to have been absent from the portion of the hearing where Moses testified. That hearing was also public.

But Virginia Canter — the chief ethics counsel for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, who is quoted in the Business Insider report — argued the purchase still poses ethical questions given Mast’s role in overseeing the company as part of that subcommittee.

“You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see this conflict of interest,” Canter said.

Moses testified in front of the subcommittee on June 16. On July 19, Mast made two purchases of the company’s stock. Each buy was worth between $15,001 and $50,000.

The purchases also came days after Virgin Galactic’s founder, Richard Branson, flew to the edge of space with a crew during a televised event on July 11.

Mast did eventually report the purchase on Aug. 23, according to the Business Insider report. But that may have violated federal rules. The STOCK Act requires members of Congress to report such trades within 45 days, but that window shrinks to 30 days if the member of Congress is aware of the trade.

Levinthal’s report said he reached out to Mast’s office for comment on whether the testimony influenced his decision but did not hear back. Mast’s office did not offer a reply to a Florida Politics follow-up regarding the stock purchase.

As of Wednesday, Mast had lost money on the purchase, according to Business Insider. The stock price closed at $32.40 per share on July 19, the day of the purchase. After the price slightly rose, it fell to $26.26 per share at the close of trading Wednesday.

While fines for late-filed reports begin at $200, members of Congress are typically given a 30-day grace period to correct any missed filings.

Ryan Nicol

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to [email protected].


  • M. Bailey

    August 26, 2021 at 6:20 pm

    Surprise, surprise🙄 This is the same dirtbag who campaigned as ‘the vote for me, I’m a disabled Vet/American patriot’ and then remained conspicuously, despicably SILENT when news broke of Bounties being offered up on our troops in Afghanistan (his military brothers he claimed to love). The same cowardly SILENCE displayed by his equally reprehensible party full of Losers; men who voluntarily relinquished their morals, not to mention their dignity, sucking up to their Commander-In-Embarrassment.

    The hypocrisy is absolutely mind-numbing.

    • Ray G

      August 26, 2021 at 9:21 pm

      You must be fantasizing to say that he is silent apparently you don’t know him too well where you don’t follow him very well

  • Sonja Fitch

    August 28, 2021 at 8:50 am

    Trump Russian operative aided Mast in his election! This dude is a damn traitor plain and simple! Just another white man Republican who can and will lie cheat abs steal for his own political bs!

    • Zhombre

      August 28, 2021 at 9:42 am

      Racist bitch

Comments are closed.


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