NEW YORK (AP) — A former U.S. congressman from Indiana, technology company executives, a man training to be an FBI agent and an investment banker were among nine people charged with four separate and unrelated insider trading charges that were reported Monday. unveiled with the unsealing of charges in New York City.
It was one of law enforcement’s most significant attacks on insider trading in a decade, and a prosecutor and other federal officials promised new enthusiasm for similar prosecutions in the future. They said the deception resulted in millions of dollars in illegal profits for suspects on both coasts and in Central America.
Stephen Buyer was charged in court documents with insider trading during the $26.5 billion merger of T-Mobile and Sprint, announced in April 2018. An indictment identified him as having misappropriated secrets he learned as a consultant to illegally earn $350,000.
The 63-year-old buyer from Noblesville, Indiana, was arrested Monday in his home state. He served on committees overseeing the telecommunications industry while serving as a Republican congressman from 1993 to 2011.
According to a civil suit filed against the buyer by the Securities and Exchange Commission in a Manhattan federal court.
Authorities said he also engaged in illegal trade in 2019 prior to the acquisition of Navigant Consulting Inc. by consultancy and consultancy firm Guidehouse. According to documents, he used his work as a consultant and lobbyist to make illegal profits.
His attorney, Andrew Goldstein, said in a statement: “Congressman buyer is innocent. His stock trading was lawful. He looks forward to being convicted soon.”
US Attorney Damian Williams told a news conference that, among several other recently announced crackdowns on insider trading, the cases are a result of his pledge to “relentlessly eradicate crime in our financial markets.”
“We have zero tolerance, zero tolerance for cheating in our markets,” said Gurbir S. Grewal, director of the SEC Enforcement Division.
“When insiders like Buyer—an attorney, former prosecutor, and retired congressman—money from their access to material, nonpublic information, as alleged in this case, they are not only violating federal securities laws, but undermining them. also public confidence in the fairness of our markets,” said Grewal.
In a second prosecution, three Silicon Valley technology company executives were charged with trading insider information about corporate mergers that one of them learned of from his employer.
An indictment accused Amit Bhardwaj, 49, of San Ramon, California, who is the chief information security officer of Lumentum Holdings Inc. of using secrets to trade illegally and then passing the information on to criminal associates, including four friends. The SEC said Bhardwaj and his friends generated more than $5.2 million in illegal profits by trading ahead of two corporate takeover announcements.
A lawyer for Bhardwaj did not immediately return messages asking for comment.
In a third case, Seth Markin, of Washington Crossing, Pennsylvania — a man in training to become an FBI agent — allegedly stole inside information from his then-girlfriend who worked at a major law firm in Washington DC. According to court documents, he and a friend made more than $1.4 million in illegal profits after learning that Merck & Co. Pandion Therapeutics was going to take over. It was unclear who would represent Markin in court.
In a fourth indictment, a New York investment banker was charged with sharing secrets about potential mergers with another person, on the understanding that the couple would share illicit profits of approximately $280,000.
Authorities said seven of the nine suspects had been arrested on Monday, while two had been arrested earlier.