New York Congressman Chris Collins Arrested on Insider-Trading Charges

Frederick Owens
August 8, 2018

Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY) was arrested and indicted on federal insider trading charges Wednesday.

The case involved Innate Immunotherapeutics, an Australian biotech company. for which Collins served as a board member.

Collins broke the law by "passing material, nonpublic information regarding the drug trial results to his son.so that Cameron Collins could use that information to make timely trades in Innate stock and tip others", the indictment alleges. Reps. John Culberson of Houston and Mike Conaway of Midland had also bought shares in the firm, though they apparently didn't dump shares shortly before the price crashed - unlike Collins' son, whose well-timed sale is at the heart of the insider trading case.

This led to three trades, it is alleged, that helped the defendants avoid $768,000 USA in losses. "We are confident he will be completely vindicated and exonerated", attorneys for Rep. Collins said in a statement on Wednesday. The outside, non-partisan Office of Congressional Ethics began a review of Collins' activity in March 2017 and voted to send its findings to the House ethics panel that July, which can formally launch investigations and recommend any sanctions against any lawmaker it determines has broken any rules.

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Collins' lawyers noted in a statement that the government has not said the congressman traded any shares of the stock.

Collins was the first sitting member of Congress to endorse Donald Trump's presidential bid. The probe made a similar finding about a 2013 meeting Collins attended at the National Institutes of Health, where he asked staff to meet with the Australian company about clinical trial designs.

Collins reportedly surrendered to federal agents in Manhattan this morning and was taken into custody.

No allegations of misconduct have been leveled against him or Conaway, a former chairman of the House Ethics Committee.

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