Former US congressman seeks no jail time in July sentencing for insider trading

NEW YORK (AP) — A former congressman from Indiana should not spend time in jail after his insider trading conviction, his lawyers told a judge on Wednesday.

Steve Buyer, 64, of Noblesville, Indiana, was found guilty by a jury in Manhattan federal court in March of four securities fraud charges after a two-week trial for stock trades he made while worked as a consultant and lobbyist after he finished serving in Congress. from 1993 to 2011.

He was found guilty of insider trading involving the $26.5 billion merger of T-Mobile and Sprint, announced in April 2018, and subsequent stock purchases he made in the consultancy. in Navigant management when its client Guidehouse was to acquire it in a deal made public weeks later.

Federal sentencing guidelines call for him to serve about three years in prison, though judges frequently deviate from the recommendations.

His attorneys wrote in a brief ahead of the July 11 sentencing that the Republican should face only home isolation and community service.

The lawyer and Persian Gulf War veteran once chaired the House Veterans Affairs Committee and served as House prosecutor during the impeachment trial of former President Bill Clinton in 1998.

The Buyer’s lawyers told the judge who will sentence their client that the Buyer suffered a great deal as a result of the lawsuits and the conviction.

The case has “irreparably damaged his reputation, tarnished his achievements and his life of service, and continues to bring shame and humiliation to him and his family”, the lawyers said.

They said he lost all of his consulting clients after being indicted and his two businesses “collapsed”, wiping out the average annual gross income of around $2.2 million that existed from 2018 to 2021. Now , they produce no revenue, the lawyers said.

As a result of the conviction, he will lose his Virginia and Indiana bar licenses, and he will never again be able to consult and advise Fortune 500 companies or any other company where he may have access to inside information, they said. declared.

“The cost of litigation was also substantial, forcing Mr. Buyer and his wife to sell most of their assets, including their home, condo and two cars,” the attorneys said. His wife will have to return to work at 65, they added.

In addition, four financial institutions closed or froze his bank accounts, including his investment accounts, and two credit card companies closed his accounts, the lawyers said.

Lawyers said a sentence that did not include jail time would not be unusual as more than a third of those convicted of insider trading who previously had a clean criminal record faced no jail time. . And more than 70% of the sentences were less than two years, they said.

At trial, prosecutors said his clients were motivated to share lucrative secrets with him because they wanted his help as a consultant.

Defense attorneys argued that he was a stock market enthusiast who did research that led to profitable legal trades. The buyer testified on his own behalf.

The buyer made more than $320,000 illegally for himself, his relatives and a woman he had an affair with, authorities said.

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