Chris Collins reportedly indicted by federal grand jury on insider trading charges

Leroy Wright
August 8, 2018

Upstate New York Congressman Christopher Collins was charged Wednesday with insider trading tied to a company for which he served as a board member.

Prosecutors allege that Collins gave nonpublic information about drug trial results to his son to help him "make timely trades in Innate stock and tip others". The charges were announced and the was indictment unsealed in New York City on Wednesday.

The indictment charges Collins, the congressman's son and the father of the son's fiance, with conspiracy, wire fraud and other counts. "We are confident he will be completely vindicated and exonerated", the statement reads.

Collins, who was one of President Donald Trump's first congressional endorsers, has been under scrutiny for the previous year for potential insider trading of shares of Innate Immunotherapeutics, a company where Collins himself is the largest majority shareholder. 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. They sold their stocks in the company before the public announcement, which caused the company's stock prices to drop by 92 percent.

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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.

Collins's lawyers say they will clear Collins' "good name" and cite the indictment's lack of any allegation that Collins himself "traded a single share of Innate Therapeutics stock".

The statement indicated that Collins would address the charges later on Wednesday.

This led to three trades, it is alleged, that helped the defendants avoid $768,000 USA in losses.

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