SEC accuses former GOP representative Stephen Bayer of insider trading

(File 1988) House Judiciary Committee member Rep. Stephen Bayer (R/IN) carries his research material at the conclusion of impeachment proceedings on December 12.


WASHINGTON — Former Republican Representative Stephen Bayer of Indiana has been accused of insider trading, using accounts owned by his wife and longtime mistress to hide certain transactions, Securities and Exchange Commission announced Monday.

Buyer, who left Congress in 2011, is accused of trading on non-public information he received as an adviser after leaving office.

According to the civil complaint filed in Manhattan federal court, the buyer purchased more than $1.5 million worth of stock in two different companies, Sprint and Navigant Consulting, based on insider information, over a two-year period.

He sold Sprint’s shares in 2018 following its merger with T Mobile Leaks, according to the SEC, to a profit of at least $107,000. After news became public that Navigant would be acquired by Guidehouse, he sold shares of Navigant in 2019.

Andrew Goldstein, an attorney for the buyer, told CNBC: “The congressional buyer is innocent. His stock trade was legitimate. He hopes to be proved right quickly.” Goldstein is a partner at the law firm Cooley LLP.

The SEC complaint described how the buyer used several different accounts, including the brokerage account of his wife, Joni Byer, to purchase the shares. Joni Byer is not charged with any legal wrongdoing, but she has been named in the charges because she technically profited from wrongful gains in her investment account.

Buyer allegedly spread stock purchases across seven different accounts, which alone included his two separate IRAs; an investment account belonging to his wife Joni Buyer; a joint account owned by the couple; a joint account the buyer shared with his son; A joint account the buyer shared with his cousin, and a seventh account owned by a woman, was identified only as “Friend-1”.

According to the SEC complaint, Buyer began a romantic relationship with an unidentified woman in 2006. In 2018, the purchaser used the woman’s IRA account to purchase more than $12,000 worth of stock in Sprint. A year later, she reportedly re-used her account to buy $22,000 worth of stock in Navigant, shortly before both companies were acquired by Buyer’s consulting clients.

“When insiders such as buyers – a lawyer, a former prosecutor, and a retired congressman – monetize their access to material, non-public information, as alleged in this case, they are not only subject to federal securities laws, but also undermine the public’s trust and confidence. The fairness of our markets,” said Gurbir S Grewal, director of the SEC’s enforcement department, In an SEC press release.

Buyer served in Congress from 1993–2011, where he represented Indiana’s 4th congressional district, previously ranked as its 5th.

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