Politics & Government

Businessman accuses N.C. legislator Rand of insider trading

The former president of a publicly traded Raleigh company is accusing state Sen. Tony Rand of sharing insider information with other North Carolina politicians.

Paul Feldman, who says he was illegally fired from Law Enforcement Associates in August, made the claims in a complaint filed with the U.S. Department of Labor. He said that Rand, one of the state's most powerful lawmakers, schemed to profit from insider trading and manipulating the value of the company's stock.

Rand called the allegations "insane" and "hogwash."

Rand, a Fayetteville Democrat who is stepping down as state Senate majority leader this month, has been chairman of LEA's board since 2003. The company, which makes security and surveillance equipment, was spun off in 2001 from Sirchie Finger Print Laboratories, a Franklin County company started by former state Sen. John Carrington, a Republican.

Rand said Wednesday that he is offended by Feldman's allegations, adding, "There's no truth to any of this."

LEA disclosed Feldman's allegations, including his Nov. 17 letter to the Labor Department, in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday.

In his complaint, Feldman alleges that he saw a list that included about 50 North Carolina politicians who bought large amounts of LEA stock in 2004 and 2005. That list included "former and present governors" and Feldman claims the list "strongly suggested that these individuals had invested in LEA stock based on inside information obtained from Rand or Carrington, or other LEA insiders."

Feldman also claims that Rand told another LEA executive that he previously had made money trading the stock of First Citizens Bank using inside information from the bank's president, Frank Holding, and that he "planned to do the same to LEA stock." The Holding family, which controls First Citizens Bank of Raleigh, also owns a large stake in First Citizens of South Carolina, a separate publicly traded company.

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