FILE PHOTO: Former U.S. Congressman Stephen Buyer arrives for his insider trading trial at the United States Courthouse in the Manhattan borough of New York City, U.S., March 8, 2023. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
By Jody Godoy
(Reuters) – Former U.S. Congressman Stephen Buyer was convicted by a New York jury on Friday of trading on inside information he learned in 2018 as a consultant to T-Mobile US Inc (NASDAQ:TMUS.O) ahead of its $23 billion merger with Sprint.
Buyer was a Republican from Indiana in the U.S. House of Representatives between 1993 and 2011 before working as a corporate consultant.
Prosecutors said at a trial that began on March 1 that Buyer bought Sprint stock after learning from a T-Mobile executive that the telecommunications companies were in merger talks in 2018 and engaged in another insider trading scheme in 2019.
Buyer took the stand at trial and denied trading on inside information. His attorney did not immediately return a request for comment on Friday.
The former congressman was found guilty on four counts of securities fraud. Judge Richard Berman will hold a sentencing hearing on July 11.
Buyer made more than $100,000 from the Sprint trades and more than $200,000 on stock in Navigant Consulting Inc, which he purchased before Guidehouse acquired the company in 2019, according to prosecutors.
Prosecutors urged the jury to focus on the timing of Buyer’s trades, which came as employees at his client companies learned about the mergers.
Buyer’s attorneys argued that no hard evidence showed when he learned about the two mergers and said he had relied on public research to pick the stocks.
The former congressman was one of several people, including a former Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) banker, arrested on insider trading charges in July as part of a crackdown by Damian Williams, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York.