Former Republican Rep. Stephen Buyer was arrested Monday on insider trading charges, one of nine people facing unrelated prosecutions. The Securities and Exchange Commission said it's launched criminal and civil cases against the former Indiana lawmaker over transactions made after he left office, the New York Times reports. The SEC said Buyer was working as a corporate consultant in 2018 when he played golf with a T-Mobile executive who was a client. The executive told Buyer that T-Mobile and Sprint were about to merge. The agency says Buyer and two other people then bought Sprint shares and realized a profit of more than $107,000.
In 2019, the agency said, Buyer made a profit of more than $227,000 when he traded on information from another client, also about an upcoming telecom deal. "His stock trades were lawful," Buyer's lawyer said Monday. A Manhattan indictment says Buyer tried to conceal his trades, using various investment accounts owned by family members and others for the transactions, per CNBC. In one instance, per the Washington Post, Buyer is accused of printing a public investment research document showing Sprint stock trades by insiders, then adding handwritten notes to make it look like he was acting on public information.
Other people charged include Seth Markin, a onetime FBI trainee, and Brijesh Goel, an investment banker, per the Times. "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," an SEC statement said, per Axios. Buyer served in Congress from 1993 to 2011. (Read more insider trading stories.)