Georgia Sen. Jon Ossoff’s (D) financial disclosers show he holds millions in Apple stock after he publicly criticized the company for profiting off “abusive” practices, according to a report.
Ossoff, in a Senate hearing last month, quizzed Apple’s Chief Compliance Officer, Kyle Andeer, on reports showing the company failed to regulate fraudulent iPhone applications available in its app store, according to the Washington Free Beacon, which first reported on the matter. The report showed “fake app developers have bilked customers out of millions of dollars in subscription fees, according to consumer watchdogs.”
The report outlines Ossoff’s hypocrisy for questioning Andeer on their billing practices during the hearing, saying, “Apple is making a cut on those abusive billing practices, are you not?” Ossoff currently holds a multi-million dollar stake in the company, according to his disclosures.
Andeer pushed back on Ossoff’s question during the hearing. Andeer said Apple had invested hundreds of millions of dollars in order to harden their security, which could have added up to billions. He added that “unfortunately, security and fraud is a cat and mouse game,” also mentioning that Apple is internally investing in tools to help them do this. He believes Apple does a better job than anyone else.
Last year’s financial disclosure form, which the Senator filed this week, showed the stocks could be worth between $1 million and $5 million, according to the Beacon. The report also suggested the senator had forgotten to mention his investments in Apple during the hearing on antitrust and still “has not introduced legislation to force tech companies to address fraudulent apps.”
Andeer had also said, regardless, Apple wants to make sure “the customer is in a whole position,” and that’s what they focus on, making sure they don’t lose customers. The Beacon reported he also said Apple refunds customers who submit complaints about fraudulent app activity.
“One developer who has uncovered hundreds of fraudulent apps sold by Apple said Andeer gave incomplete answers to Ossoff’s questions,” according to the Beacon.
According to the report, Ossoff still holds stock and has not divested any of his Apple shares, as he has not filed any new reports showing any stock transactions since he has been in the Senate. Members of Congress are required to report within 30 days of trades to the Clerk. Apple shares have reportedly soared in recent years.
The report also stated that since Ossoff ran for Senate, Republicans have labeled him a “trust fund socialist.” The report added, Ossoff can attribute “his business accomplishments to a massive inheritance from his wealthy grandfather.” This includes the Senator having “invested $250,000 of that windfall in Insight TWI, a company that produces investigative documentaries. The investment is now worth between $1 million and $5 million, according to Senate disclosures,” according to another report from the Beacon.
The senator’s office did not return the request for comment or questions from the Beacon regarding his multi-million dollar Apple investment.
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