Man who tipped his dad to M&A deals gets prison time

By James Langton | December 5, 2019 | Last updated on December 5, 2019
1 min read

A former Wall Street investment banker has been sentenced to two years in prison for tipping his father to five pending corporate acquisitions.

The U.S. attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York announced that a former senior investment banker, Sean Stewart, was sentenced to 24 months in prison and three years of supervised release after being convicted for his role in an insider trading scheme.

According to the U.S. authorities, Stewart, who worked at two different investment banks during the time, tipped his father, Robert Stewart, to forthcoming M&A deals, enabling his father and co-conspirator Richard Cunniffe to generate US$1.1 million from illegally trading on the inside information.

The father pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and tender offer fraud in 2015. He was sentenced to four years of probation and ordered to pay US$150,000 in forfeiture.

Cunniffe also pleaded guilty in 2015 and was sentenced to a year of probation, and US$900,000 in forfeiture.

“As two separate juries have now found, Sean Stewart abused his positions at two investment banks, betrayed his employers by stealing his clients’ valuable secrets, and gave his father inside information to illegally profit in the stock market,” said Geoffrey Berman, Manhattan U.S. attorney, in a statement.

“To cover his tracks, Sean Stewart committed numerous acts of deception, including lying to bank compliance officials about his father’s trading activities in response to an inquiry from a financial regulator,” Berman added.

James Langton headshot

James Langton

James is a senior reporter for and its sister publication, Investment Executive. He has been reporting on regulation, securities law, industry news and more since 1994.