Former Republican Congressman Stephen Buyer Hit With Jail Time For Insider Trading

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Former Republican Indiana Rep. Stephen Buyer was sentenced to 22 months in prison Tuesday for insider trading on information he acquired in 2018 as a consultant to T-Mobile US Inc, prior to a $26.5 billion merger with Sprint.

U.S. District Judge Richard Berman handed down the sentence in New York after Buyer, who served in the House of Representatives from 1993 to 2011, was found guilty on four counts of securities fraud in a trial held in March. Along with the prison sentence, Buyer was also ordered to pay over $350,000 in forfeiture, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York.

Buyer purchased Sprint stock after obtaining information that a T-Mobile executive was holding merger discussions with Sprint in 2018 and made subsequent illegal trades, according to the press release. As a result, Buyer profited over $126,000 from the Sprint trades across various accounts and more than $223,000 from purchasing stock in Navigant Consulting Inc. before its acquisition by Guidehouse in 2019, according to the press release.

Buyer maintained his innocence throughout the trial, testifying that he did not trade based on inside information. He has announced plans to appeal the verdict, according to Reuters. (RELATED: Top Fed Official Under Investigation For Violating Insider Trading Rules)

The prosecution had sought a three-year prison term for Buyer, emphasizing a breach of client trust and alleged perjury during the trial. The defendant requested home confinement, citing his congressional career and past service in the U.S. military, Reuters reported.