Republican congressman from New York indicted on securities fraud charges

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Christopher Collins, an upstate NY politician and the first member of Congress to endorse Donald Trump, has been indicted on insider trading charges.

In October, a congressional ethics investigation determined there was "a substantial reason to believe" Rep. Collins violated federal law when he promoted stock in Innate Immunotherapeutics using insider information.

In the 22-page civil complaint, Collins, his son Cameron, and Stephen Zarsky, the father of Cameron's fiancee, are accused of insider trading.

"He said that he's made members money", an unnamed GOP lawmaker told the Hill at the time. It is notable that even the government does not allege that Congressman Collins traded a single share of Innate Therapeutics stock. The charges were announced and the indictment unsealed on Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2018.

According to the indictment, after Collins learned a trial regarding a drug to treat multiple sclerosis failed, he contacted his son, who traded on the information.

Price said he never received information that could be considered a stock tip and denied any wrongdoing.

Collins gained personal benefit and provided nonpublic information to his son Cameron Collins who sold almost $1.4 million of Innate Immunotherapeutics shares, according to a complaint filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Chris Collins' lawyers responded swiftly, insisting he will be "completely vindicated". Collins is the company's largest shareholder and serves on its board of directors, attending its meetings by phone.

Collins was an early Trump supporter and one of the president's liaisons in Congress.

The attorneys note that Rep. Collins is not accused of selling any of his own shares, which lost 92 percent of their value after the adverse results of the clinical trial were released. When the House Ethics Committee began investigating the stock trades a year ago, his spokeswoman called it a "partisan witch hunt".