Following up on this July 2022 post concerning former Congressman Steve Buyer being charged with insider trading, former Congressman Buyer has now been sentenced to 22 months in prison for those charges. Buyer left office, ostensibly because of family health issues, but hot on the heels of reports of sketchy financial practices having to do with his “Frontier Foundation.” The organization was nominally in place for student scholarships but seemed to raise a lot of money from lobbyists and spend a lot of money on the Buyer family.
According to an SEC press release when the charges were brought:
After Congress, Buyer went to work as a lobbyist. He obtained inside information that T-Mobile planned to acquire Sprint. In 2018, he bought a bunch of Sprint stock and spread it around “his own personal accounts, a joint account with his cousin, and an acquaintance’s account.” When the news became public, he sold and netted $107,000. Similarly, in 2019, he obtained inside information that Navigant Consulting would be acquired by Guidehouse LLP, bought a bunch of Navigant stock and spread it around “his own accounts, joint accounts with his wife and son, his wife’s personal account, and the same acquaintance’s account involved in the Sprint trading.” When the news became public, he sold and netted $227,000.
The AP report on his sentencing relates that the judge in the case said Buyer’s conviction by a jury in March was not a close call because the evidence against him “screams guilty.” The AP also reports:
Prior to being sentenced, Buyer, who is from Noblesville, Indiana, told the judge he should visit Indiana, where someone buying a dozen ears of corn for $6 off the back of an unmanned trailer might put the money in a container that already has $300 in it without worrying that anybody will snatch the cash.
“It’s an honor system. It’s how we live. It’s how I’ve lived my life,” he said.
I don’t know how to respond to that. I have, in fact, visited Indiana. And, being a Hoosier, I know that stashing three hundred bucks in legal corn money without sweating it too much has fuck all to do with pulling in $300,000 in ill-gotten, illegal, insider trades. And, furthermore, maybe a guy who made money that way doesn’t have the best grasp on the concept of an “honor system.” Honestly, I’m probably more irritated about him dragging Indiana into this conversation and trying to sell some cornball story about his honor than about his skimming off the stock market.