According to Bloomberg, an unknown trader in the US was able to earn about $7.5 million by acquiring 100,000 call options from Equitrans Midstream Corp, which is involved in the construction of the Mountain Valley gas pipeline.
The deal was completed on May 24, days before US President Joe Biden announced an agreement with the Republicans on the National Debt Act, which included a clause to reopen the Mountain Valley. Previously, there were no official reports of plans to resume this suspended project.
Bloomberg notes that the fact that the trader was betting on the growth of Equitrans shares, which fell by 35% last year, and after the decision on public debt rose by 49%, may indicate a possible leak of information.
Securities and Exchange Commission's head of law enforcement Philip Khinda said the task of investigators is not only to ascertain whether the information was transferred, but also to reveal the intentions with which it was transferred. Wharton School insider trading professor Dan Taylor also raised serious concerns about these trades, wondering if there was a coincidence.
Equitrans officials said the company and its management had nothing to do with the call options deal.