Former congressman one of nine charged with insider trading resulting in millions in illegal profits

With all the focus on the recent stock purchases by Paul Pelosi, husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., the indictment of a former congressman suggests that insider trading is very real — allegedly.

Former U.S. Rep. Stephen Buyer, who left office in 2011, was one of nine people charged with insider trading that resulted in millions of dollars in illegal profits, according to Fox Business.

“An indictment identified Stephen Buyer as someone who misappropriated secrets he learned as a consultant to make $350,000 illegally. Buyer served on committees with oversight over the telecommunications industry while a Republican congressman from 1993 through 2011, the indictment said,” Fox Business reported. “Buyer, arrested Monday in Indiana, was accused in court papers of engaging in insider trading during a merger of T-Mobile and Sprint, among other deals. Documents said he leveraged his work as a consultant and lobbyist to make illegal profits.”

Buyer’s attorney, Andrew Goldstein, said in a statement that his client is innocent and that the stock trades were “lawful.”

“He looks forward to being quickly vindicated,” Goldstein said.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said at a news conference Monday that the indictments represent a follow-through on his pledge to be “relentless in rooting out crime in our financial markets.”

“We have zero tolerance, zero tolerance for cheating in our markets,” said Gurbir S. Grewal, director of the SEC Enforcement Division.

“When insiders like Buyer — an attorney, a former prosecutor and a retired Congressman — monetize their access to material, nonpublic information, as alleged in this case, they not only violate the federal securities laws but also undermine public trust and confidence in the fairness of our markets,” Grewal added.

Paul Pelosi prompted plenty of concerns about cheating when he purchased up to $5 million of stock options on a computer-chip company ahead of a vote on legislation that would provide billions of dollars in subsidies for the chip-manufacturing industry.

When pressed last week by Fox News about whether her husband had ever made stock purchases or trades based on information he had received from her, Speaker Pelosi shot back, “No. Absolutely not.”

She would abruptly end her news conference by walking away after offering the answer.

Prior to that, Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill did his best Sgt. Schultz impersonation, essentially saying she knows nothing about her husband’s dealings. Nothing at all.

“The Speaker does not own any stocks. As you can see from the required disclosures, with which the Speaker fully cooperates, these transactions are marked ‘SP’ for Spouse. The Speaker has no prior knowledge or subsequent involvement in any transactions,” Hammill said in a statement.


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