Steve Buyer, the former Republican representative for Indiana, has been sentenced to 22 months in prison and ordered to forfeit over $300,000, along with a $10,000 fine, for engaging in insider trading. In March 2018, Buyer learned about T-Mobile’s plan to acquire Sprint and purchased $568,000 in Sprint securities just before the merger became public knowledge. He also bought over $1 million worth of Navigant shares before the announcement of Guidehouse LLP’s acquisition of the company in June 2019.
Buyer was found guilty of four counts of securities fraud based on insider information about company mergers. The prosecution argued that his actions violated federal securities laws and undermined public trust in the fairness of the markets. As a result, Buyer was ordered to return his profits, totaling $353,000, in addition to serving his prison sentence.
Buyer’s defense attorneys requested home confinement and community service as alternative punishments, citing that he had already suffered enough. However, District Judge Richard Berman rejected these recommendations and determined that jail time was warranted. Despite rejecting the suggested sentence of 33 to 41 months, Judge Berman considered Buyer’s past public service in the US Army and Congress, resulting in a reduced sentence of 22 months.
Buyer served as a representative for Indiana’s 4th congressional district from 1993 to 2011, during which he chaired the House Veterans Affairs Committee. After leaving Congress, he established the Steve Buyer Group, a consulting firm that provided services to various clients, including T-Mobile and Guidehouse LLP.
Maintaining his innocence, Buyer plans to appeal his conviction. He is due to report to prison on November 28.