NEW YORK (AP) — A former Indiana congressman was sentenced Tuesday to 22 months in prison for his insider trading conviction for making illegal stock trades while working as a consultant and lobbyist.
Steve Buyer, 64, whose congressional career stretched from 1993 to 2011, was sentenced in Manhattan federal court by Judge Richard M. Berman. The judge also ordered Buyer to forfeit $354,027, representing the amount of illegal gains, and to pay a $10,000 fine.
The judge said Buyer’s conviction by a jury in March was not a close call because the case against him “screams guilty,” and he concluded that Buyer lied when he testified at his trial about when he learned about mergers that he profited from.
Berman noted that he had previously rejected claims that Buyer, a Republican, was unjustly prosecuted or that he could not obtain a fair trial in Manhattan because the population of New York City favors Democrats. Berman named six suburban counties outside of the city where jurors were also drawn from.
Buyer, a lawyer and Persian Gulf War veteran, once chaired the House Veterans’ Affairs committee and was a House prosecutor at ex-President Bill Clinton’s 1998 impeachment trial.
Buyer was convicted in connection with insider trading involving the $26.5 billion merger of T-Mobile and Sprint, announced in April 2018, and illegal trades in the management consulting company Navigant when his client Guidehouse was set to acquire it in a deal publicly disclosed weeks later.
Defense lawyers had requested home confinement and community service as a punishment while prosecutors urged a three-year prison sentence.
Buyer was ordered to report to prison on Nov. 28.
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.