GOP congressman busted for insider trading

GOP congressman busted for insider trading

Republican congressman Chris Collins, one of the first United States lawmakers to declare support for Donald Trump's presidential candidacy, was indicted by federal prosecutors Wednesday on charges of securities fraud connected to an alleged insider trading scheme.

The report says Collins has been arrested on the charges and his co-defendants include his son Cameron Collins, and the father of his fiancee, Stephen Zarsky. The indictment is related to an Australian biotech company on whose board the congressman had served.

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The firm's stock plunged by more than 92% after it was revealed that a multiple sclerosis drug it was developing had failed trials.

Collins has denied any wrongdoing.

Collins' latest sale of Innate Immunotherapeutics holdings was on June 20, 2018 and valued between $15,000 and $50,000 according to House periodic transaction reports.




Collins was the first congressman to endorse Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, and has been a loyal defender of Trump's agenda on Capitol Hill.

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

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Manhattan will speak about the indictment during a news conference scheduled for noon.

Attorneys representing Collins said in response to the indictment that they are confident the congressmen will be "completely vindicated and exonerated", NBC producer Alex Moe reported. When the House's ethics committee began investigating the stock trades a year ago, his spokesperson called it a "partisan witch hunt".

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

The advocacy group Public Citizen filed a request for an investigation of Collins' stock dealings with the Office of Congressional Ethics and the Securities and Exchange Commission in January of 2017.

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