Litigation Release No. 23757 / February 22, 2017

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Sean Stewart et al., No. 1:15-cv-03719 (AT) (S.D.N.Y. filed May 14, 2015)

United States v. Sean Stewart, No. 15-cr-287 (S.D.N.Y.)

Former Investment Banker Sentenced to Three Years in Prison for Insider Trading

On February 17, 2017, Judge Laura Taylor Swain of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York sentenced former investment banker Sean Stewart to three years imprisonment.

Sean Stewart was criminally charged on May 14, 2015. The criminal charges against Sean Stewart arose out of the same conduct alleged by the SEC in a complaint filed the same day as the criminal charges were announced. The SEC's complaint alleges that, in a scheme spanning at least four years, Sean Stewart illegally tipped his father, Robert K. Stewart, about future mergers and acquisitions involving clients of two investment banks where Sean Stewart worked. The complaint alleges that his father, a certified public accountant, cashed in on the tips by placing and directing highly profitable securities trades ahead of the public announcement of these corporate transactions, generating approximately $1.1 million in illicit proceeds. On August 12, 2015, Robert Stewart pled guilty to conspiracy to commit securities fraud. On August 17, 2016, Sean Stewart was convicted of insider trading and related charges.

The SEC's litigation against Sean and Robert Stewart, which was stayed pending resolution of the criminal action, is ongoing. The SEC seeks an injunction against Sean and Robert Stewart from further violations of the charged provisions of the federal securities laws, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, civil penalties, and an officer and director bar against Robert Stewart.

The SEC thanks the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for their efforts in prosecuting the case, and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority for its Assistance in this matter.