Ex-GOP congressman sentenced for insider trading

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Sept. 20 (UPI) -- Stephen Buyer, a former Republican congressman for the state of Indiana, has been sentenced to nearly 2 years behind bars after being convicted of insider trading for making stock purchases with non-public information.

U.S. District Judge Richard Berman sentenced Buyer, 64, to 22 months in prison on Tuesday, after being convicted in March on four counts of securities fraud stemming from two insider trading schemes.

The resident of Noblesville, Ind., was also ordered Tuesday to forfeit more than $350,000 as well as restitution that has yet to be determined.

"He abused positions of trust for illicit personal gain, and today, he faced justice for those acts," U.S. Attorney Damian Williams for the Southern District of New York said in a statement.

"No insider trader is above the law, and we will continue to bring those who undermine the fairness and integrity of our markets to justice."

Buyer, a Gulf War veteran, served in Congress from 1993 to 2011, when he left office to form the Steve Buyer Group.

Prosecutors said that in 2018 and 2019, Buyer committed two insider trading schemes, the first of which involved him purchasing Sprint Corporation shares ahead of its April 2018 merger with T-Mobile, a deal that was valued at $26.5 billion.

Court documents state that he made that purchase as he was informed of the then-pending merger by T-Mobile executives as he was part of what the justice department called "a small, trusted group of consultants" that the telecommunication company had hired to work on the deal.

Prosecutors said he made about $126,000 from those stock purchases.

The second scheme saw him buying shares of Navigant Consulting ahead of its acquisition by the Guidehouse consulting and advisory firm between June and August 2019.

Prosecutors said that he again purchased those shares via several brokerage accounts with information he acquired from his consulting work for Guidehouse.

Court documents show that he netted more than $223,000 for this deal.

Buyer's lawyer, Daniel Alonso, told NBC News in a statement, that his client intends to appeal the decision.

"Steve is disappointed in the sentence, but we look forward to the appeal," he said.

Buyer was originally arrested and charged in late July 2022.