Rep. Madison Cawthorne (RN.C.) was fined nearly $15,000 by the House Ethics Committee on Tuesday after it found evidence that the 27-year-old lawmaker violated House rules by promoting a cryptocurrency that could have benefited her financially.
Committee’s seven-month review found In December 2021, Cawthorn bought $150,000 in Let’s Go Brandon coin, a cryptocurrency named after a song mocking President Biden, “F-Joe Biden,” and he sold it all by January 2022.
The investigation revealed that Cawthorn promoted the coin in photos and videos and encouraged others to invest in it as its value plummeted.
The 81 page report “Representative Cawthorn found significant evidence that he promoted cryptocurrency in violation of conflict-of-interest protections,” the panel announced Tuesday.
However, House investigators disagreed on whether Cawthorn produced the cryptocurrency, known as LGB coin, for personal gain.
Investigators also found “sufficient evidence” of insider trading and could not determine whether Cawthorn had access to non-public information about LGB’s failed coin offering to sponsor a NASCAR race car driver at the time of the investment.
The report notes that Cawthorn “reasonably relied on the advice of his accountant, who incorrectly informed him that he was not required to disclose his cryptocurrency transactions to Congress.”
The ethics investigation also looked into whether Cawthorn had an improper relationship with one of his employees, but concluded that no such relationship existed while Cawthorn was in office.
The committee ordered Cawthorn to donate $14,237.49 to the charity by the end of the year and pay late fees related to his transactions.
According to PoliticsCawthorn will split the $15,000 donation between the Firearms Policy Coalition and the Shepherd Brain and Spine Center of Georgia.
Cawthorn lost in the spring primary to Republican challenger Chuck Edwards, who defeated Democrat Jasmine Beach-Ferrara in the Nov. 8 midterm election.