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T-Mobile Sprint Merger Was Front Run by Rep Steve Buyer Now $250,000 Bond, Aug 31 Next

By Matthew Russell Lee, Light Reading, Patreon

SDNY COURTHOUSE, July 27 – 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.

On July 25, 2022 the SDNY prosecutors unsealed an indictment of ex Rep Stephen Buyer for illegal trading on the merger. They scheduled an 11:30 am press conference which Inner City Press went to attend with smart phone to live stream.

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:

OK - Insider trading indictee (and former Congressman) Buyer is here to be arraigned at 1 pm

Judge Berman: The indictment alleges the defendant breached his duty to #TMobile, bought Sprint stock before the merger announcement. Also, Guidehouse - Navigant. Should I read it?

Counsel: First, it's "Boo-yay," French pronunciation.

Buyer: I plead not guilty.

 Judge Berman: Agree on a discovery schedule to propose. [Parties confer, in the well of the courtroom. Then Buyer's lawyer Schwartz  takes proposal back to him.]

AUSA: We have 15 warrants and 76,000 documents. We are using a vendor. We request 30 days.

Buyer's lawyer: We want to see the search warrant applications. And any post-arrest statements.

AUSA: There were some spontaneous statements. Judge: Aug 31 at 11 am, next conference. Schwartz: We've made several presentations to the government. He was in Congress.

AUSA: He did this twice, and he tried to cover it up. He sent a Signal message to see his source right away.

Buyer's lawyer: We can prove he did research. Judge Berman: I going to require a $250,000 bond and limit travel to the continental US.

Buyer's lawyer: His wife is here today and can co-sign. Adjourned.

[Inner City Press ran down to the 5th floor and sure enough, Mrs Buyer was there, to sign the bond as a financially responsible person - or moral suasion?]

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

Watch @InnerCityPress.

The charges: "(1.) U.S. v. Stephen Buyer –  alleged insider trading in two companies by the defendant, a former U.S. Congressman, ahead of merger and acquisition announcements related to each company. Buyer allegedly obtained material nonpublic information (“MNPI”) about each of these deals by virtue of his retention as a consultant and lobbyist in connection with the deal.   (2.) U.S. v. Seth Markin and Brandon Wong – the defendants are alleged to have together made more than $1.4 million dollars in illegal profits by trading in trading in stock based on inside information that Markin, who was at time an FBI agent in training, stole from his girlfriend, who was then an attorney at a major law firm in Washington D.C. assigned to work on the acquisition of Pandion Therapeutics by Merck & Co.  In addition to their own trading, Wong and Markin are alleged to have told at least eight other people to purchase Pandion shares based on the stolen information.  (3.) U.S. v. United States v. Amit Bhardwaj, Srinivasa Kakkera, and Abbas Saeedi – the defendants,  including executives at Silicon Valley tech companies, are alleged to have traded based on inside information about impending corporate mergers obtained by defendant Amit Bhardwaj from his employer.  (4.) U.S. v. Brijesh Goel – alleged insider trading in seven M&A deals based on MNPI obtained from an insider at a major international investment bank in New York.  The insider, Goel, allegedly received MNPI based on investment bank internal documents about potential investments that bank might make in the deals."

 Back on February 11 Judge Marrero ruled: "The following transaction was entered on 2/11/2020 at 8:11 AM EST and filed on 2/11/2020 Case Name:    State of New York et al v. Deutsche Telekom AG et al Case Number:    1:19-cv-05434-VM-RWL Filer:     Document Number:    409 Docket Text: DECISION AND ORDER: For the reasons stated above, it is hereby ORDERED that the request of plaintiffs, the States of New York, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon, and Wisconsin, the Commonwealths of Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, and the District of Columbia, for an injunction pursuant to Section 7 of the Clayton Act, 15 U.S. C. Section 18, to restrain the proposed acquisition of Sprint Corporation by T-Mobile US, Inc. is DENIED, and the Clerk of Court is directed to enter judgment in favor of defendants Deutsche Telekom AG, T-Mobile US, Inc., Softbank Group Corp., and Sprint Corporation. The Clerk of Court is directed to terminate any pending motions and to close this case. (Signed by Judge Victor Marrero on 2/10/2020) (rro) Transmission to Orders and Judgments Clerk for processing."

  Inner City Press tweeted the above, and will have more on the 170 page order which was signed on February 10, when Judge Marrero oversaw a Bronx gang trial, here. Watch this site.

  On December 20 Professor Shapiro testified for the second time how the merger would allow coordination and raise prices. Day's thread here.

  Then a final flurry of exhibits entered into the record, and more agreement by Judge Marrero to file many under seal. The defense team wanted no briefs, but there will be 30-page proposed findings of fact and law on January 8, before the closing arguments on January 15. Watch this site. More on Patreon here.

  On December 17 Charlie Ergen of DISH testified, saying for example that "Sprint is a laggard." Judge Marrero agreed to hear the parties in his robing room, and then and only then decide whether to release a redacted transcript. Some asked, Public interest?  The case is State of New York, et al., v. Deutsche Telekom AG, et al., 19-cv-5434 (Marrero).


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