New York Congressman Chris Collins Arrested, Charged with Insider Trading

Minnie Murray
August 8, 2018

Collins, a close ally of President Donald Trump who represents the 27th Congressional District of NY, is accused of passing on information he learned as a board member and major shareholder of Innate Immunotherapeutics, an Australian biotech company, to his son and others so they could sell stock to save money.

The indictment (via Buzzfeed's Michael Hayes) charges Collins and his son with insider trading relating to securities of Innate Immunotherapeutics - an Australian biotech company. Prosecutors say Cameron Collins then passed the information along to Zarsky, who made a trade.

Collins, one of the staunchest allies of President Donald Trump in the Congress, was also charged with lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation during an April 2018 interview, as prosecutors charge that he relayed information about a failed drug trial by the company, Innate Immunotherapuetics.

When that drug failed a clinical trial in Australia, the company's stock plummeted. On the next trading day, the company's stock plunged 92 percent.

Collins' son, Cameron, and Stephen Zarsky, the father of Cameron Collins' fiancée, are also facing charges.

The SEC has sought to ban Collins from being a director of a publicly traded company and for his co-defendants to forfeit the money they saved through the sale of Innate stock.

On a 2014 financial disclosure form, Collins said he hadn't participated in any IPO - but he was technically covered thanks to a loophole that requires members of Congress to disclose when they're involved only in US IPOs, not foreign ones, the Daily Beast noted.

Collins, who represents Buffalo's suburbs and counties in upstate NY, was the first House Republican to openly support Trump's bid for the party's nomination in the 2016 race, and he has remained a loyalist to the president.

"Congressman Collins will have more to say on this issue later today", they added.

Democrats were helped along by some serious charges from federal prosecutors in NY.

NY congressman and his son were indicted for insider trading related to the shares of an Australian biotechnology firm, federal prosecutors in Manhattan said on Wednesday.

This is not the first time the congressman's involvement with Innate has attracted scrutiny.

Collins gained prominence for being one of the earliest Capitol Hill backers of President Donald Trump.

Chris Collins is a three-term Republican incumbent who represents New York's 27th Congressional District. Collins, a Trump supporter who took office in 2013 and is running for re-election in November, faces a challenge from Democrat Nate McMurray, town supervisor in Grand Island.

Between June 23 and 26 Cameron also sold off his Shares.

Chris Collins couldn't sell off his stock, according to prosecutors; He was already under a congressional ethics investigation and his stock was in the Australian markets, which had already halted trading of Innate stock. "Makes no sense. How are these results even possible???"

The House Ethics Committee had been investigating the allegations against Collins since August of 2017.

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