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In Inside Trading Trial of Ex-rep Buyer US Cites Affair as Defense Says US Had Mind Made Up

By Matthew Russell Lee, Light Read, Patreon

SDNY COURTHOUSE, March 1 -- On July 25, 2022 the SDNY prosecutors unsealed an indictment of ex Rep Stephen Buyer for illegal trading on two mergers.

On July 27, Buyer accompanied by his wife was in Courtroom 17B of 500 Pearl Street to be arraigned. Inner City Press live tweeted it here.

On March 1, 2023, the trial began with opening arguments. Inner City Press live tweeted here:

OK- now in insider trading trial of ex-Rep from Indiana Stephen Buyer. 

AUSA Margaret Graham: Buyer inside traded on T-Mobile -Sprint, and Guidehouse Navigant. When asked, he lied.

[At defense table, Buyer shakes his head. At least one juror is watching him]

AUSA: Buyer set up a trading account for a woman he was having an affair with, trading only these 2 deals. 

Buyer's lawyer Daniel Alonso (he pronounces his client's name Boo-yer) - They have no facts. There was no material non public info that traded hands. Mr Buyer is about public service

Buyer's lawyer got out in front of his slides, now synchs to say, Buyer worked on Veterans issues. The prosecutors had their minds made up. Now he's 700 miles away from home, on trial. [Buyer waves, as his lawyer mis-says he represented Alabama]

 Buyer's lawyer: Tony Russo told the FBI he couldn't confirm telling Steve about the [#TMobile] merger. He signed the non disclosure on April 18, after he stopped trading.

  Then the government's first witness, who's known Buyer since 1992. Buyer again waved....

  Inner City Press will continue to cover the trial.

 As to T-Mobile, the two week trial against the proposed T-Mobile / Sprint merger ended on December 20, 2019 before U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Victor Marrero. There were papers due January 8, and a final four hour argument on January 15. Inner City Press began what will be a trial-long live-tweet, here. Day 7 Patreon here.

Back on August 31, Judge Richard M. Berman held a US v. Buyer proceeding, ranging from the so-called filter team to trial dates, most likely in February 2023. Inner City Press live tweeted here

On November 23, Judge Berman ruled on a discovery dispute and concluded, "Cut it out" - "Counsel for both sides should be aware that the Court is not fond of "tit for tat"litigation. Cut it out. (Signed by Judge Richard M. Berman on 11/23/2022)."

On November 30 Judge Berman to his credit set the December 7 oral argument to be virtual, since the defendant - whose right it is - did not object: "ORDER as to Stephen Buyer. The oral argument scheduled for Wednesday, December 7, 2022 at 11:00 AM - in the absence of defense objection - is being held by video."

Opinion (than and now): More judges should do this, as they do in civil cases.

But it was converted to in-person, on December 14. Inner City Press there, thread

On February 12, 2023, Buyer's counsel wrote to seek to exclude another other things text messages: "  The exhibits at issue are GX 402, a series of text messages between Mr. Buyer and Individual-1 from August 18, 2016 through October 23, 2017 (before the events in the indictment); GX 401, which contains a series of texts between the two from 2021 (long after the events in the indictment); and GX 306, an email in which Mr. Buyer sent photos of Individual-1’s daughter’s wedding in 2019 and wrote “you are beautiful.” Other topics discussed are hot-button political topics like abortion (Individual-1 stridently expressed that she is pro-life and was very negative about pro-choice women) and political debates including admiration for former Vice President Mike Pence (GX 402), discussions of getting together and phrases like “miss you” (GX 401). Notably, GX 402, which the government told us it intends to offer, is 383 pages long. Adding to the prejudice is that within the text strings and in his phone, Individual-1 is referred to by what the government says is a code name, “Leo.” This code name also shows up in a series of documents (GX 413-15) that the government also seeks to introduce, which contain nothing but Mr. Buyer’s passwords from his iPhone, many of which contain the string “leo.” There is no reason to offer any of this other than to tar Mr. Buyer with the stink of infidelity and conservative political beliefs."

Next, there was a February 15 conference, which Inner City Press live tweeted here:

OK - now a conference in US v ex-Rep Steve Buyer. Judge Berman says, "This rolling process is not acceptable. No more motions in limine?"

Buyer's counsel from Orrick replies that he just wants to make sure he can object to evidence at trial.

Judge Berman: Are you seriously asking that? A: I just, uh... Judge: I assume you know. Now the trial is moved back a week to Feb 28

Buyer's counsel: Can we store defense stuff in the courtroom or nearby? Judge Berman: You may have to take care of that yourself. No printers or copiers in the courtroom. But we'll talk about it.

Buyer's counsel: We get it. We can deal with the new trial date.

Judge Berman asks why the defense needs to bring seven laptops in, and then it's over. For now.

This case is US v. Buyer, 22-cr-397 (Berman)

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