NEW YORK (AP) – A former U.S. congressman from Indiana, tech company executives, a man training to be an FBI agent and an investment banker were among nine people charged in four separate and unrelated insider trading schemes announced Monday. Indictments in New York.
It was one of the most significant attacks on insider trading by law enforcement in a decade, and prosecutors and other federal officials have vowed renewed enthusiasm for similar prosecutions in the future. They said the illegal fraud generated millions of dollars in profits for defendants located on both coasts and in Central America.
Stephen Buyer has filed court documents accusing him of illegal insider trading during the $26.5 billion merger of T-Mobile and Sprint announced in April 2018. The indictment identified him as someone who made $350,000 at a time by misusing the secrets he learned as a consultant.
The 63-year-old buyer, from Noblesville, Indiana, was arrested in his home state on Monday. As a Republican congressman from 1993 to 2011, he served on committees overseeing the telecommunications industry.
According to the civil case filed against the buyer, he was described as buying Sprint securities in March 2018, a day after attending a golf game with a T-Mobile executive. Securities and Exchange Commission in federal court in Manhattan.
Authorities said he also engaged in illegal trading before Navigant Consulting Inc. was acquired by Guidehouse consulting and advisory firm in 2019. The documents say 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 legitimate. He expects to be acquitted soon.”
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said at a news conference that the cases, in addition to a recently announced crackdown on insider trading, reflect a pledge to be “relentless in rooting out crime in our financial markets.”
“We have zero tolerance, zero tolerance for fraud in our markets,” said Gurbir S. Grewal, director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement.
“When insiders like buyers — an attorney, a former prosecutor and a Congressman — monetize their access to material, nonpublic information as alleged in this case, they not only violate federal securities laws, they also undermine public trust and confidence. fairness of our markets,” said Grewal.
In the second prosecution, three executives of Silicon Valley technology companies were charged with trading on inside information about corporate mergers, one of which he learned from his employer.
The indictment accuses Amit Bhardwaj, 49, of San Ramon, Calif., a senior security guard at Lumentum Holdings Inc., of using secrets to conduct illegal trades and then passing the information on to accomplices, including four friends. The SEC said Bhardwaj and his friends made more than $5.2 million in illegal profits by trading before the two corporate acquisition announcements.
Bhardwaj’s lawyer did not immediately return messages seeking comment.
In a third case, Seth Markin of Washington Crossing, Pennsylvania — a man training to become an FBI agent — allegedly stole inside information from his then-girlfriend, who worked at a Washington, D.C., law firm. According to court documents, he and his friend Merck & Co. Pandion was set to acquire Therapeutics. It was unclear who would represent Marki in court.
In the fourth indictment, a New York-based investment banker was accused of sharing secrets about potential mergers with another person with the understanding that the pair would share in the ill-gotten gains of about $280,000.
Authorities said seven of the nine defendants were arrested on Monday and two earlier.
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