Chris Collins, (R-N.Y.) was arrested Wednesday morning on insider trading charges lodged by the Justice Department, law enforcement officials said. A federal grand jury also obtained an indictment to arrest Collins’ son, Cameron Collins, as well as his fiancee’s father Stephen Zarsky, according to CNBC.
Collins, a close ally of President Donald Trump who represents the 27th Congressional District of New York, is accused of passing on information he learned as a board member and major shareholder of Innate Immunotherapeutics to his son and others so they could sell stock to save money.
Collins is ranked amongst the top richest members of Congress. Here’s what you need to know about Collins’ net worth:
1. Collins Bought Over 4 Million Shares of Innate Immunotherapeutic Back in 2014
According to Money Reign, Collins’ net worth was approximately $120 million in 2017, but that number has been disputed. He earned much of his money as a shareholder back in 2014 when he purchased more than 4 million shares in Innate Immunotherapeutic, an Australian biotech company. He also often invests in other companies, many of which have given him huge amount of returns, according to Money Reign.
“Chris Collins is one of the largest shareholders and sits on the Innate Immunotherapeutic board which is an Australian pharmaceutical company,” Money Reign states. “As a business visionary, he was the organizer, President, and CEO of Nuttall Gear Corporation situated in Niagara Falls, New York.”
His present organizations include: Bloch Industries, Easom Automation, Mead Supply, and Oxygen Generating Systems among many others, according to Money Reign.
2. In 2015, His Top Assets Brought in a Combined $30 Million, with His Net Worth Doubling By The End of the Year
In 2015, Open Secrets reported that Collins was worth $66,414,016. Some of the industries he invested in during the year 2015 included pharmaceuticals and health products, to which Open Secrets states that he invested a whopping $33 million into, and special trade contractors, where Collins poured another $3 million.
In 2015, Innnate Immunotherapeutics was reported as one of his top assets, earning Collins $15 million. Volland Electric Corp also racked up another $15 million for the congressman.
Between the years 2011 and 2015, Collins gained an estimated 6 million dollars in assets, according to a chart Open Secrets reported.
3. Collins Lost Nearly $17 Million in 2017 After Pharmaceutical Stocks Dropped 92%
According to CNBC, Shares of Innate Immunotherapeutics tanked 92 percent to less than 5 Australian cents in June, 2017, after the pharmaceutical company reported that a “midstage trial for a drug to treat multiple sclerosis had failed.”
Collins, a member of a subcommittee overseeing health policy, suffered a loss of $16.7 million, as Innate Immunotherapeutics’ biggest shareholder. According to a source close to the company, Collins lost more than $5 million throughout his 15-year association with Innate and never sold a share, CNBC reports.
The Office of Congressional Ethics also opened an investigation into Collins’ role as an Innate investor and his “impact in attracting investors,” according to the Buffalo News. Investigators were reportedly receiving complaints that Collins was engaging in insider trading at the time.
4. Collins Was Indicted in August, 2018, With A Plethora of Insider Trading Charges, Including Securities Fraud & Wire Fraud
Collins was indicted Wednesday, August 8, on charges of conspiracy to commit securities fraud, securities fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud and making false statements, according to the indictment.
According to prosecutors, Collins learned about the failure of a multiple sclerosis drug trial, MIS416, and passed on that information before it was released publicly.
“All of the trades preceded the public release of the negative drug trial results and were timed to avoid losses that they would have suffered once the news became public,” the indictment reads.
You can read the full indictment below.
5. A Statement Issued By Collins’ Attorney Claims He Will Be “Completely Vindicated & Exonerated”
The congressman’s office issued a statement from Collins’ attorneys saying, “We will answer the charges filed against Congressman Collins in Court and will mount a vigorous defense to clear his good name. 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. Congressman Collins will have more to say on this issue later today.”
Next to the charges of insider trading, the U.S. House of Representatives Office of Congressional Ethics conducted a review of Collins in 2017, and filed a civil complaint against Collins, his son and Zarsky. Collins, his son and Zarksy are scheduled to be arraigned in Manhattan federal court at 2:30 p.m.
This is a developing story. Heavy will continue to update as more information is known.