Published: Wed, August 08, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

GOP Rep. Chris Collins Hit With Insider Trading Charges

GOP Rep. Chris Collins Hit With Insider Trading Charges

"Rep. Chris Collins, his son Cameron and Stephen Zarsky, the father of Cameron Collins's fiancée, have been charged with insider trading relating to securities of an Australian biotechnology company", ABC News correspondent Aaron Katersky reported.

The defendants are accused of securities fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy, and making false statements, all related to publicly traded stocks of an Australian biotechnology company, Innate Immunotherapeutics.

A weekly recap of the top political stories from The Globe, sent right to your email. The company developed a drug meant to treat Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis. Price and Collins purchased almost $1 million in discounted stock in the company.

Collins, one of President Donald Trump's strongest congressional allies, remains under investigation by the committee, which has the power to sanction lawmakers. When the House's ethics committee began investigating the stock trades a year ago, his spokesperson called it a "partisan witch hunt".

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In a statement, the congressman's legal counsel addressed the accusations, expressing confidence he will be vindicated and exonerated in court.

Collins is estimated to be the 13th wealthiest member of Congress, with a projected net worth of $44 million.

Within minutes, Chris Collins phoned his son and relayed the information "knowing that it was in breach of his duties to Innate and anticipating that Cameron Collins would use it to trade and tip others", the documents state.

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. Collins, his son and Zarksy are scheduled to be arraigned in Manhattan federal court at 2:30 p.m. When the drug trials failed, the public announcement caused the stock price of Innate to plunge 92 percent.

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