Rep. Chris Collins, a Republican Congressman from New York and an early supporter of President Donald Trump, was charged with insider trading on Wednesday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York said. The charges were related to securities Collins held in an Australian biotech company.
Collins’ son, Cameron Collins, and Stephen Zarsky, Cameron Collins’ fiancé’s father, were also charged, the DOJ said. The DOJ alleges Rep. Collins, who served on the biotech company’s board, provided nonpublic information about the results of a drug trial to his son, Zarsky and “others.” Because of the information Rep. Collins provided, the DOJ alleges those who received the insider information avoided about $768,000 in losses.
According to the DOJ, Rep. Collins, his son and Zarsky lied to investigators about the insider trading scheme when they were interviewed by the FBI. Rep. Collins was already the subject of a House ethics investigation related to his investments before the charges were announced Wednesday.
“We will answer the charges filed against Congressman Collins in Court and will mount a vigorous defense to clear his good name,” attorneys for Collins said in a statement. “It is notable that even the government does not allege that Congressman Collins traded a single share of Innate Therapeutics stock. We are confident he will be completely vindicated and exonerated.”
All three defendants are each charged with conspiracy, securities fraud, wire fraud, and making false statements to the FBI, according to the DOJ. An arraignment will be held at 2:30 p.m. in Manhattan federal court.
Rep. Collins represents New York’s 27th Congressional district, which includes parts of western New York.
Patch will update this report.
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