Congressman Chris Collins Arrested For Insider Trading

Congressman Chris Collins Arrested For Insider Trading

Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.) has been arrested by the FBI for insider trading related to an Australian biotechnology company.

Collins, one of the largest shareholders of Innate Immunotherapeutics and a board member of the biotech firm, faces charges of securities fraud. His son and the father of his son’s fiancee were also indicted and charged with fraud.

He allegedly passed private information about the company to his son, Cameron Collins, who used the information to make timely trades and tip off others, according to the indictment.

The indictment says the congressman informed his son and Stephen Zansky, the father of his son’s fiancee, about the unpublicized trial failure of a drug the company had developed, which would later cause stock prices to plummet. They sold their stocks in the company before the public announcement, which caused the company’s stock prices to drop by 92 percent.

Chris Collins, his son and Zansky avoided $768,000 in losses, according to the indictment. 

The defendants have also been charged with counts of wire fraud and false statements.

Attorneys for Chris Collins released a statement Wednesday morning, noting that the congressman would say more on the issue later in the day.

“It is notable that even the government does not allege that Congressman Collins traded a single share of Innate Therapeutics stock. We are confident he will be completely vindicated and exonerated,” the statement reads.

Collins, one of Donald Trump’s earliest supporters in his presidential bid, reportedly talked up the company’s stock to his colleagues, including members of Congress, last year. At the time, he denied discussing Innate Immunotherapeutics with other members of Congress, but he said he did tell some constituents about the company’s stock.

In July 2017, the Office of Congressional Ethics found “a substantial reason” to believe that Collins violated securities law. 

This story has been updated with more details about the indictment.

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

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