Prosecution says ex-Wall Street banker lied in insider trading trial

Mon Aug 8, 2016 4:44pm EDT
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By Nate Raymond

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. prosecutors on Monday sought to brand a former Wall Street investment banker as a liar after he took the stand in his own defense to deny engaging in a years-long insider trading scheme with his father.

In her closing argument, Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah McCallum urged a federal jury in Manhattan to reject a "web of lies" conveyed during testimony by Sean Stewart, an ex-banker at Perella Weinberg Partners and JPMorgan Chase & Co.

While Stewart, 35, had testified that he never intended to help his father profit through insider trading, McCallum said evidence, ranging from emails to trading records, and the testimony of a cooperating witness showed his testimony was "ridiculous."

"This is no place for stories," she said. "It is a place for evidence."

Martin Cohen, Stewart's lawyer, sought to show his client's story was supported by evidence.

While Stewart may have in violation of his employers' policies by speaking with his family about confidential matters at his work, Cohen said, he never did so intending to help his father, Robert Stewart, to illegally trade on the information.

Cohen said that Robert Stewart, who was struggling financially, betrayed his son to profit on shares of companies mentioned in conversation and that Sean Stewart expected him to treat the information as confidential.

"Sean Stewart is absolutely innocent," Cohen said. "He never tipped his father."   Continued...

Former Perella Weinberg investment banker Sean Stewart exits the Manhattan federal court house in New York City, U.S. on July 27, 2016.  REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo