GOP Rep. Chris Collins charged with insider trading

08 August, 2018, 20:27 | Author: Orlando Hughes
  • Chris Collins

Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., has been arrested on insider trading charges lodged by the Justice Department, law enforcement officials said Wednesday morning.

The congressman's son, Cameron, and Stephen Zarsky, the father of Cameron's fiancee, were also charged in the scheme.

"At the time Christopher Collins, the defendant, received this email, he was attending the Congressional Picnic at the White House", the indictment says.

Collins' seat was considered vulnerable even before the charges were announced, and he was targeted in a push by Andrew Cuomo, the governor, and other New York Democrats seeking to unseat him as the party looks to take control of the House of Representatives in November's midterm elections. "This follows the company previously suggesting a great response to its drug and touting that it stood to generate as much as $3 billion in profits in this country alone", Slaughter said in a statement.

According to the indictment, Collins, a member of Innate's board of directors and one of its largest shareholders, had access to non-public information about its primary business - the development of a drug meant to treat a form of multiple sclerosis.

Chris Collins
Chris Collins. Win McNamee Getty Images

According to the complaint, Collins learned on June 22, 2017 that a drug Innate was developing to treat multiple sclerosis had failed clinical trials.

Collins has denied any wrongdoing.

The company's stock price fell more than 90 percent after results of the drug trial were released publicly, the documents state.

Collins, who represents the suburbs of Buffalo and rural counties in upstate NY, became the first House Republican to endorse Donald Trump's bid for the Republican presidential nomination.

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