Stephen Buyer, a 64-year-old former Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives, was sentenced Tuesday to spend 22 months behind bars as a result of his conviction for insider trading.
Buyer, who represented Indiana in Congress from 1993 through 2011, was convicted earlier in 2023 for trading off of insider information he received after he left office.
The charges come from him purchasing stocks in a management company called Navigant. That company was set to be purchased by Guidehouse – which is one of Buyer’s clients – only a few weeks after he purchased the Navigant stock.
In addition, Buyer purchased stock in Sprint after he learned that the company was planning to merge with cellular company T-Mobile. At the time that he made those stock purchases, the news of the merger was not public knowledge.
In a statement released after Buyer’s sentence was handed down Tuesday, U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said:
“Stephen Buyer was convicted by a jury of twice engaging in insider trading. He abused positions of trust for illicit personal gain, and today he faced justice for those acts. No insider trader is above the law, and we will continue to bring those who undermine the fairness and integrity of our markets to justice.”
While Buyer will spend nearly two years in jail, he’ll be free for a little while longer. He doesn’t have to report to prison until November 28.
During the trial, U.S. District Judge Richard Berman even went as far as accusing the former congressman of obstruction of justice, saying that he gave the court false explanations for why he made the stock trades.
Buyer is a lawyer and a veteran of the Persian Gulf War. He once served as the chair of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee in the House and also served as a prosecutor during former President Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial in 1998.
At the sentencing hearing, Buyer’s legal team urged the judge to only sentence their client to community service and home confinement, rather than any time spent in prison.
The lawyers told the court that their client has suffered immense financial repercussions from his conviction, with the cost of litigation alone forcing him and his wife to sell off most of the assets that they have – including their primary home, a condo and two vehicles. In addition, his wife is going to be forced to return to the workforce, even though she’s 65 years old.
At one point in time, Buyer earned a salary that topped out at $2.2 million per year.
Prosecutors during the earlier stages of the trial were pushing for Buyer to have to pay $1.4 million more, which would cover legal fees for their side as well as for himself. The judge in the case ruled against that motion, though.
So, while Buyer won’t have to fork over all that money, he’s going to have to spend substantial time behind bars.