- Associated Press - Monday, January 12, 2015

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - A national advocacy group says South Carolina Congressman Mark Sanford violated House Ethics rules by accepting a six-figure stock payout from an online mortgage broker after taking office.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics In Washington filed a complaint Monday with the Office of Congressional Ethics.

The Associated Press reported last month that Sanford received the payout from LendingTree, an online mortgage broker based in Charlotte. He had served on the company’s board and resigned after he won election, which would have rendered his unvested shares in the company worthless. The board later voted to give him the shares anyway, backdating the transaction.

The group’s interim executive director, Anne Weismann, says the payout after Sanford took office violates a prohibition on congressional members accepting gifts.

Sanford has previously denied any wrongdoing.

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