NY Rep. Christopher Collins indicted on securities fraud charges

Congressman Chris Collins Arrested For Insider Trading

NY Republican Chris Collins Arrested for Fraud

Christopher Collins, an upstate NY politician and the first member of Congress to endorse Donald Trump, has been indicted on insider trading charges.

The congressman, Cameron Collins, and Stephen Zarsky-the father of Cameron's fiancee-were charged Wednesday with securities fraud, wire fraud and making false statements to federal officials.

Collins, one of the largest shareholders of Innate Immunotherapeutics and a board member of the biotech firm, faces charges of securities fraud.

Berman's office will hold a press conference at noon.

Chris Collins' lawyers responded swiftly, insisting he will be "completely vindicated".

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"Congressman Collins will have more to say on this issue later today", they added.

Collins, 68, is set to appear in Manhattan federal court Wednesday afternoon.

"Throughout my tenure in Congress I have followed all rules and ethical guidelines when it comes to my personal investments", Collins said in an statement when he resigned.

Collins's district in Western New York is solidly Republican and voted overwhelmingly for Trump in 2016. The indictment charges Collins with notifying his son, Cameron Collins, of the failed test just minutes after he learned the news.

Innate had been working on a drug to treat Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis which would have been "enormously profitable" if successful, according to the indictment.

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Collins then called his son, Cameron, to tell him the results, according to the indictment.

In a statement to CNBC, attorneys for Collins vowed to "mount a vigorous defense to clear his good name".

Federal prosecutors said the charges were straightforward - that Collins wrongly took non-public information, and gave it to his son, and his son's in-laws.

"This was the drop in value that the co-conspirators avoided by selling their shares before the public announcement", Mr Berman said.

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. Innate's CEO emailed the congressman and other directors about the results on the evening of June 22 - when Collins was at a congressional picnic at the White House. The congressman allegedly shared non-public information with his son, Cameron, that spurred a series of trades based on insider information.

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