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SEC charges former GOP Rep. Stephen Buyer with insider trading

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(File 1988) House Judiciary Committee member Rep. Stephen Buyer (R/IN) carries his research materials away on the conclusion of the impeachment proceedings December 12.

Reuters

WASHINGTON — Former Indiana Republican Rep. Stephen Buyer has been charged with insider trading, using accounts owned by his wife and longtime mistress to cover a few of the transactions, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced Monday.

Buyer, who left Congress in 2011, is accused of trading on nonpublic information he received as a consultant after he left office.

Based on the civil grievance filed in Manhattan federal court, Buyer bought greater than $1.5 million in stock in two separate firms, Sprint and Navigant Consulting, based on insider information over the span of two years.

He sold the shares of Sprint in 2018 after its merger with T-Mobile leaked, for a profit of at the very least $107,000 in line with the SEC. He sold the Navigant shares in 2019 after news became public that Navigant can be acquired by Guidehouse.

An attorney for Buyer, Andrew Goldstein, told CNBC, “Congressman Buyer is innocent. His stock trades were lawful. He looks forward to being quickly vindicated.” Goldstein is a partner on the law firm Cooley LLP.

The SEC grievance details how Buyer used several different accounts, including his wife Joni Buyer’s brokerage account, to buy the shares. Joni Buyer just isn’t accused of any legal wrongdoing, but she is known as in the costs because she technically benefited from the ill-gotten gains in her investment account.

Buyer allegedly spread the stock purchases across seven different accounts, including two separate IRAs belonging to him alone; an investment account belonging to his wife Joni Buyer; a joint account owned by the couple; a joint account Buyer shared together with his son; a joint account Buyer shared together with his cousin, and a seventh account owned by a lady identified only as “Friend-1.”

Based on the SEC grievance, Buyer began a romantic relationship with the unidentified woman in 2006. In 2018, Buyer used the girl’s IRA account to buy greater than $12,000 price of stock in Sprint. A yr later, he allegedly used her account again to purchase $22,000 of stock in Navigant, shortly before each firms were acquired by Buyer’s consulting clients.

“When insiders like Buyer – an attorney, a former prosecutor, and a retired Congressman – monetize their access to material, nonpublic information, as alleged on this case, they not only violate the federal securities laws, but in addition undermine public trust and confidence within the fairness of our markets,” said Gurbir S. Grewal, director of the SEC’s enforcement division, within the SEC press release.

Buyer served in Congress from 1993-2011, where he represented Indiana’s 4th Congressional District, which was previously numbered as its fifth.

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