Former congressman convicted of insider trading
Former Rep. Stephen Buyer (R-Ind.) was convicted of insider trading in New York on Friday after the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) alleged he used nonpublic information to buy stocks last year.
U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Damian Williams said in a statement that Buyer took advantage of his “privileged position” as a corporate adviser to use his clients’ nonpublic information to commit insider trading on two occasions.
“Buyer’s conviction underscores this Office’s commitment to detect and hold accountable those who break our insider trading laws just to make a buck,” Williams said.
The SEC charged Buyer with insider trading in July as part of an investigation where the agency also brought charges against nine other individuals. The U.S. attorney’s office filed criminal charges against Buyer at the same time.
Authorities said Buyer obtained $568,000 in shares of Sprint in 2018 after learning from nonpublic information that T-Mobile planned to merge with the company. T-Mobile was a client of his consulting firm, the Steve Buyer Group.
The SEC said Buyer received more than $100,000 immediately after news spread of the merger.
The agency also alleged that Buyer bought more than $1 million in Navigant Consulting shares before one of his clients announced that they planned to buy the firm. It said he sold his shares the day the sale was announced and received $227,000 in profits.
The Lafayette Journal & Courier reported that Buyer was found guilty of four insider trading charges, two of which came from the Sprint merger and two from the Navigant Consulting one.
Reuters reported that Buyer’s attorney argued that concrete evidence proving Buyer had inside information did not exist, and his client made the decisions to buy the stocks based on public information.
Buyer served in Congress for nearly two decades from 1993 to 2011, leading the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee for two years.
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