World's Best Dad Allegedly Used Insider Trading to Pay for Son’s Wedding

In Depth

Planning a particularly lavish celebration of your marriage? Those bills aren’t going to pay for themselves, but no worries—some resourceful bankers have it all figured out.

According to the U.S. government, Sean Stewart, formerly an investment banker at J.P. Morgan and Perella Weinberg, passed along information to his father, Robert Stewart, regarding a handful of private companies. Total coincidence, but Robert Stewart later made $1.1 million on the sale of one of those companies. What luck! Robert then used some of that cash to settle the photography bill from his son’s wedding.

Manhattan U.S. attorney Preet Bharara said, “The son’s tip to his father became a gift to himself when his father kicked back some of the proceeds of the insider trading to pay for his son’s wedding.” You can totally imagine how father and son sorted this out, probably over a chateaubriand steak for two at Keens: You owe me one, Dad. Now, please pass the creamed spinach.

Since the $10,000 photography bill is the one specific detail we’ve got regarding Sean’s wedding finances, let’s at least see what $10,000 pictures [Update: photographer has removed pics the link is dead] look like, courtesy of the photographer’s blog.

What do we think? Worth $10K? (The photographer, Marie Labbancz, appears to have shot Sean and Elizabeth’s engagement photo for their Times wedding announcement, so let’s assume that’s included in the $10,000 photo package.)

It’s unclear how the U.S. attorney’s office has linked the elder Stewart’s windfall to something as specific as a wedding photography bill, but it’d be surprising if that were the only wedding expense paid for with sketchy loot. The couple’s wedding announcement suggests that Elizabeth comes from a family who could maybe foot the bill for the entire wedding, yes, but if her then-fiancé’s family was chipping in for a huge photography bill, it’s not beyond the realm of imagination to guess that they were paying for some other stuff, too. Maybe the bar? Maybe the limos? Who knows. But providing all nine of the bride’s attendants with gorgeous bouquets like these doesn’t come cheap.

On the aforementioned blog post featuring images from the wedding, the photographer provides us with more details:

While Elizabeth prepared for her wedding at her family home in Brooklyn Heights, Sean and his groomsmen prepared at the Hotel Gansevoort in Manhattan. I love the image of their hungry dog Riley trying to be patient while all the groomsmen had lunch. Elizabeth’s mom helped her get into her beautiful Amsale gown, Manolo Blahnik shoes and something borrowed, her sisters Vera Wang veil! . So classic! Check out the monogrammed Tuxedo slippers worn by all the men! The beautiful bridesmaids bouquet was by Opalia Flowers of Brooklyn. Such a beautiful mix of Tulips and peony! Elizabeth walked with her bridal party through the streets of Brooklyn to her ceremony at Grace Church and her dad was waiting for her at the door. Check back for more. Happy 4th!

Monogrammed tuxedo slippers.

That is a fancy-ass wedding. On its face, there’s nothing wrong with this kind of celebration if you can afford it, and even run-of-the-mill investment bankers could probably afford it without having to break the law. From what I can tell, Sean and Elizabeth’s celebration looked beautiful, truly. No shame in doing it up and having the day of your dreams.

Except, wait, no—there’s fucktons of shame in that if your husband and father-in-law are using stolen money to fund any element of it, even if it’s just the photos. Elizabeth likely had no idea her perfect day was being so imperfectly funded, which really stings. But that’s nothing compared to the prospect of her husband going to prison. At least she’ll always have those gorgeous images to look at when he’s gone.

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