Western New York Republican Congressman Chris Collins has been indicted on insider trading charges, according to court documents unsealed in Manhattan federal court on August 8. Collins, 68, was charged with conspiracy to commit securities fraud, securities fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud and making false statements, according to the indictment. His son, Cameron Collins, and Stephen Zarsky, the father of Cameron’s fiancee, were also indicted on the same charges.
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, an Australian biotech company, to his son and others so they could sell stock to save money. Collins learned about the failure of a multiple sclerosis drug trial, MIS416, and passed on that information before that information was released publicly, prosecutors said. According to the indictment, “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.” Collins, his son, Zarsky and others not named in the indictment, including Cameron Collins’ fiancee, Zarsky’s wife, Cameron Collins’ friend and Zarsky’s friend and brother, were able to prevent more than $768,000 in losses, prosecutors said in the indictment.
The congressman’s office issued a statement from his 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.” Collins, his son and Zarksy are scheduled to be arraigned in Manhattan federal court at 2:30 p.m.
You can read the indictment below:
The SEC also filed a civil complaint against Collins, his son and Zarsky, which you can read here:
And the U.S. House of Representatives Office of Congressional Ethics conducted a review of Collins in 2017, which you can read here: