Jul 25, 2022 - Economy

Former Rep. Stephen Buyer charged with insider trading

People walk past the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street on July 12, 2022. Photo: ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charged former Republican Indiana Rep. Stephen Buyer with insider trading on Monday.

Driving the news: On two separate occasions, Buyer reportedly bought stock in companies that he learned would soon be acquired, earning him more than $300,000 in "illicit profits," according to the filing.

  • After serving both Indiana's 4th and 5th districts in Congress from 1993 to 2011, Buyer created his own consulting firm.
  • While consulting for T-Mobile in 2018, Buyer learned that the company planned to acquire Sprint. Before the information was released publicly, Buyer purchased more than $500,000 in shares of Sprint stock. Once the acquisition was made public, Buyer "reaped ill-gotten gains" of about $100,000, according to the filing.
  • In 2019, while providing services to the consulting firm Guidehouse, Buyer learned that the company was planning to acquire the consulting firm Navigant. He bought more than $1 million in shares of Navigant stock, resulting in "ill-gotten gains" of more than $200,000, the filing noted.

What they're saying: "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," said Gurbir Grewal, director of the SEC Enforcement Division, in a press release.

  • "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," Grewal added.

The other side: "Congressman Buyer is innocent," his lawyer Andrew Goldstein said in a statement. "His stock trades were lawful. He looks forward to being quickly vindicated."

Editor's note: This post was updated with comment from Rep. Stephen Buyer's lawyer.

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