Manhattan federal prosecutors have asked for an early trial date to retry Sean Stewart, the investment banker from Long Island whose conviction for passing insider tips to his father was overturned late last year by a federal appeals court because of an erroneous ruling on evidence at his trial.
In dueling letters this week to U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain, prosecutors said “delay is not warranted” and asked for a spring trial, but Stewart’s new defense lawyers said they needed more time to prepare. Swain didn’t set a date at a hearing Thursday.
Stewart, 37, of Manhattan, a Kellenberg High School graduate, was convicted of passing tips to his father Robert of North Merrick while working as a highly paid investment banker at J.P. Morgan Chase and Wasserstein Perella Partners.
He was sentenced to three years in prison, but was released last June after serving just one year. The Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in November said Swain improperly prevented defense lawyers from introducing evidence that cast doubt on incriminating statements Robert Stewart made to an informant.
Stewart testified at his first trial, and claimed that he discussed his work with his father, but had no idea he was going to use the information to make stock trades. Prosecutors say it was part of a scheme, and that Robert Stewart and a co-conspirator made more than $1 million trading on the information.