Chris Collins: early Trump ally charged with insider trading

Chris Collins: early Trump ally charged with insider trading

The charges are relating to securities of Innate Immunotherapeutics, an Australian biotechnology company on whose board of directors Chris Collins served.

The congressman, Cameron Collins, and Stephen Zarsky-the father of Cameron's fiancee-were charged Wednesday with securities fraud, wire fraud and making false statements to federal officials.

Collins was already under investigation at the time by the Office of Congressional Ethics for his dealing with Innate, and did not sell off his own stock in the company, according to the indictment.

The allegation is that Collins told his son Cameron nonpublic information about the company's drug trials in order to facilitate "timely trades".

"The charges against Congressman Collins show the rampant culture of corruption and self-enrichment among Republicans in Washington today", House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) fired off in a statement before prosecutors had even held a news conference to explain what they think Collins did wrong.

The attorneys added that Collins "will have more to say on this issue later today".

Lawyers for Collins said the congressman would be "completely vindicated".

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Price, who was President Trump's first HHS Secretary until resigning in late September of 2017, may have made out the best of any lawmaker who bought the Innate stock - Price was forced to sell his stock in February 2017 as part of a divestment agreement when he joined the Trump Cabinet.

Collins, who has previously come under fire for investing in Innate while sitting on a House committee that oversees health-care policy, isn't accused of selling shares based on the negative drug trial.

The arrest of a sitting Congressman facing re-election in November may have implications for Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y.

Collins, who was first elected in 2012, threw his support behind Trump in February 2016, becoming the first Congressional Republican to endorse the future president.

Innate had been working on a drug to treat Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis which would have been "enormously profitable" if successful, according to the indictment.

"We will answer the charges filed against Congressman Collins in Court and will mount a vigorous defense to clear his good name", the statement read. When the House's ethics committee began investigating the stock trades a year ago, his spokesperson called it a "partisan witch hunt".

Collins' trades in Innate Immunotherapeutics had already been the subject of a House ethics probe.

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