A former congressman from Indiana, an FBI trainee, a Wall Street banker and several others formed an unlikely group when federal authorities announced Monday the filing of criminal and civil insider trading charges against nine people in a series of cases. not related.
The series of cases, brought by the U.S. Attorney in Manhattan and the Securities and Exchange Commission, indicate that a decade after federal authorities cracked down on insider trading in the fund industry hedging, trading in confidential information about impending corporate deals remains attractive to some. In all, authorities said the schemes generated more than $7 million in illegal trade profits.
“As today’s actions show, we are ready to harness all of our experience and tools to root out misconduct and hold bad guys accountable regardless of industry or profession,” said Gurbir S. Grewal, the SEC’s chief enforcement officer.
In filing criminal and civil securities fraud charges against Stephen Buyer, a former congressman from Indiana, authorities said Mr. Buyer misused confidential information about a telecommunications merger that he had obtained while working as a corporate consultant.
Buyer, a Republican who left Congress in 2011, exchanged a tip he received in 2018 during a golf outing with a T-Mobile executive who was one of his clients, according to charging documents. The executive had mentioned that the company would soon announce a deal to merge with Sprint, and before the deal, authorities said, Mr. Buyer and two other people bought Sprint stock and made a profit of more than $107,000.
In a tip related to another telecommunications deal in 2019, Mr. Buyer made more than $227,000 in profit, authorities said, by trading on information he had received from one of his clients about a deal to buy another company.
Andrew Goldstein, Mr. Buyer’s attorney, said his client was innocent and “his trading was legal.”
Authorities also filed charges against Brijesh Goel, an investment banker, who traded on sensitive information he received in 2017 while working at his firm. Mr. Goel, according to authorities, engaged in illegal transactions with a friend prior to corporate takeover announcements that generated profits of more than $275,000.
Federal prosecutors in Manhattan and the SEC did not identify the investment bank where Goel worked. But a LinkedIn profile of Goel said he worked for Goldman Sachs from 2013 to June 2021. Goel currently works for Apollo Global Management, the private equity firm. An Apollo spokesman said that “upon learning of the allegations for the first time this morning”, Mr. Goel was placed on “indefinite leave”. A Goldman spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment.
An attorney for Goel was not immediately available for comment.
Authorities also charged Seth Markin, a former FBI trainee, with making $82,000 in illegal business profits by misappropriating confidential information about a pending settlement involving the pharmaceutical company Merck. Federal prosecutors and regulators said Markin traded on information he obtained after secretly reviewing a confidential settlement file belonging to his then-girlfriend.
Mr. Markin, according to charging documents, shared the tip with a friend who also exchanged the information.
An attorney for Markin was not immediately available for comment.
Damian Williams, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said, “The message from today’s arrests is simple: My office remains as committed as ever to stamping out insider trading in all its forms.”