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Watchdog: Two on Senate panel probing Apple own its stock

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Photo - Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-ND, is a member of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, which is probing Apple's overseas investments. Heitkamp, who was elected in 2012, disclosed owning Apple stocks on her Senate financial disclosure statement, as did Sen. Tom Carper, D-DE, who is also on the committee. (AP Photo)
Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-ND, is a member of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, which is probing Apple's overseas investments. Heitkamp, who was elected in 2012, disclosed owning Apple stocks on her Senate financial disclosure statement, as did Sen. Tom Carper, D-DE, who is also on the committee. (AP Photo)
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At least two of the senators on a committee investigating Apple Inc. over the company's off shore tax accounts have hundreds of thousands of dollars invested in the company, according to a journalism watchdog group.

Apple, which was the sixth most widely owned corporate stock among members of the U.S. Senate in 2011 according to OpenSecrets.org, was criticized this week for allegedly putting billions of dollars in offshore accounts to avoid paying billions of dollars in U.S. taxes.

In 2011, nine Democratic senators listed ownership of Apple stocks, as did six Republican senators, with minimum investments of $879,016 and $167,219, respectively, according to Dave Levinthal and Reity O'Brien of the Center for Public Integrity, a non-profit investigative journalism group that which examined congressional financial disclosure documents.

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-ND., who sits on the Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, and Small Business and Entrepreneurship committees, owns between $250,001 and $500,000 in Apple. Her disclosure documents also showed that she earned up to $5,000 in stock dividends last year.

Most of Heitmamp's assets consists of Apple and Vanguard Health Care Fund Investor shares. She did not attend Tuesday's hearing in which Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook was grilled at length.

Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., who is chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee owns between $50,001 and $100,000 in stocks, on which he earned dividends between $1,001 and $2,500 in 2012. Most of his dividend income came from Apple stocks. During Tuesday's hearing, he disclosed that his wife owns the Apple stock.

None of the other six senators who attended Tuesday's hearing reported owning Apple stock in 2012, according to their personal financial disclosure documents. This however, excludes any owned mutual funds. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., filed for an extension and has not yet disclosed his paperwork.

Go here for the complete report by Levinthal and O'Brien.

Kelly Cohen is a member of The Washington Examiner Watchdog investigative reporting team. She can be reached at kcohen@washingtonexaminer.com.

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