After Amazon Employees Buy LIC Homes, Gianaris Moves on ‘Insider Real Estate’

 State Sen. Michael Gianaris has been an outspoken opponent of the Amazon deal. On Tuesday, he announced a new bill to curb insider real estate deals.  Eagle  photo by Jonathan Sperling.

State Sen. Michael Gianaris has been an outspoken opponent of the Amazon deal. On Tuesday, he announced a new bill to curb insider real estate deals. Eagle photo by Jonathan Sperling.

By David Brand

Just before Amazon announced it would establish a new headquarters in Long Island City, at least three employees purchased condos in the neighborhood, certain their home value would increase, The Wall Street Journal reported.

State Sen. Michael Gianaris has likened those purchases, which were based on confidential information, constitute insider dealing, a misdeed typically reserved for stock market investments.

“Trading on insider information is illegal with securities and should be illegal with real estate,” Gianaris said. “No one should be cashing in on confidential inside information.”

On Tuesday, Gianaris announced a new bill that would prevent insider dealing in real estate transactions by blocking people from using confidential government information to buy or sell real estate.

The bill, which Gianaris said he will announce when the new legislative session begins in January, would create a new Class-E felony known as “Insider Dealing in Real Property.”

During the last legislative session, Gianarias also introduced a Senate bill to curb Major Capital Improvement fraud.