GOP Congressman Arrested on Insider Trading Charges
08 August, 2018, 21:30 | Author: Rachel Logan
Republican U.S. Rep. Christopher Collins of NY has been indicted on charges that he used inside information about a biotechnology company to make illicit stock trades.
Cameron Collins, the son, and his fiancée's father, Stephen Zarsky, are also charged with insider trading of Innate Immunotherapeutics Limited stocks.
According to the indictment, after Collins learned a trial regarding a drug to treat multiple sclerosis failed, he contacted his son, who traded on the information.
"Congressman Collins cheated our markets and our justice system", said Geoff Berman, the interim U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of NY.
"The Congressman did not trade his shares, because of restrictions involving Innate shares in Australia, but he "instead tipped" his son, who quickly moved the next morning 'to sell approximately 16,508 shares of Innate".
Lawyers for Collins released a statement expressing confidence he would be "completely vindicated and exonerated".
"Congressman Collins will have more to say on this issue later today".
The third-term congressman, who represents parts of Buffalo and Rochester, was due to appear in court later today. They believe it to be the first insider-trading case against a sitting congressman.
Democrats were helped along by some serious charges from federal prosecutors in NY. Collins responded, "Wow. Makes no sense".
Just a few months later in June of 2017 came news of the failed drug trial, and the plunge in the share value of Innate.
The indictment claims that, after receiving this email, Collins then called his son, Cameron Collins, to inform him of the drug's failure - despite "knowing that it was in breach of his duties to Innate".
The New York Republican's son avoided $570,000 (£442,000) in losses thanks to the tip-off, says the indictment. Price said he never received information that could be considered a stock tip and denied any wrongdoing.
Attorneys for Cameron Collins said, "We intend to mount a vigorous defense on behalf of our client". Shares dropped 92% after the announcement.
The indictment could rock Capitol Hill, The Hill newspaper reported in June 2017 that Collins bragged about making members of Congress money via tips about the Australian biotech company. "Insider trading is a clear violation of the public trust".
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