Former Congressman Charged with Insider Trading
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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has filed insider trading charges against former Rep. Stephen Buyer (R-IN).
At a Monday press conference, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York announced the criminal charges against Buyer and eight others, including a former FBI agent trainee and an investment banker.
In the complaint, the SEC alleges that Buyer, a former U.S. representative for Indiana’s 4th Congressional District, made illegal stock purchases in at least two instances.
According to an SEC press release:
In March 2018, Buyer attended a golf outing with a T-Mobile executive, from whom he learned about the company’s then nonpublic plan to acquire Sprint. Buyer began purchasing Sprint securities the next day, and, ahead of the merger announcement, he acquired a total of $568,000 of Sprint common stock in his own personal accounts, a joint account with his cousin, and an acquaintance’s account. After news of the merger leaked in April 2018, Buyer saw an immediate profit of more than $107,000.
In 2019, according to the SEC’s complaint, Buyer purchased more than $1 million of Navigant Consulting, Inc. securities ahead of the public announcement that it would be acquired by another one of Buyer’s consulting clients, Guidehouse LLP. Buyer again spread the purchases across several accounts, including his own accounts, joint accounts with his wife and son, his wife’s personal account, and the same acquaintance’s account involved in the Sprint trading. The complaint alleges that, in August 2019, on the day that the Navigant acquisition was publicly announced, Buyer sold nearly all of the shares he had acquired across the various accounts and profited more than $227,000.
Gurbir S. Grewal, Director of the SEC Enforcement Division, said insider trading undermines the public’s trust in a fair market.
“When insiders like Buyer – an attorney, a former prosecutor, and a retired Congressman – monetize their access to material, nonpublic information, as alleged in this case, they not only violate the federal securities laws, but also undermine public trust and confidence in the fairness of our markets,” Grewal said.
“We are committed to doing all we can to maintain and enhance public trust by leveling the playing field and holding Buyer accountable for illegally profiting from his access,” he added.