NY Congressman Collins Arrested, Charged with Insider Trading

NY Congressman Collins Arrested, Charged with Insider Trading

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NEW YORK(TIP): The FBI has arrested New York Rep. Chris Collins on securities fraud-related charges, law enforcement officials said.

Collins, a Republican who hails from 
western New York, his son and his son’s future father-in-law have all 
been charged with insider trading, U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman said.

The congressman surrendered to the FBI at 26 Federal Plaza Wednesday, August 8 morning, officials said.

Collins pleaded not guilty at an appearance in Manhattan federal court Wednesday afternoon.

Hours after he was released on bail, 
Collins spoke to reporters in Buffalo, professing his innocence and 
saying he would remain on the ballot for re-election this fall.

Collins was one of the first members of Congress to endorse President Donald Trump during his presidential campaign.

Last fall, the Office of Congressional 
Ethics released a report that said the congressman may have violated 
House rules when he bought discounted stock that wasn’t available to the
 public and was offered to him based on his status as a politician.

The report also found that Collins, a board member of Australia-based Innate Immunotherapeutics, may have shared nonpublic information about the company, another possible violation.

Innate had been in the process of 
developing a drug to treat multiple sclerosis in 2017, according to the 
indictment. When the product failed drug trials in June 2017, however, 
the public results sent Innate stock prices plummeting by 92 percent.

Collins — one of Innate’s largest 
stockholders — had access to information about the company and its 
research that wasn’t available to the public, the indictment alleges.

When Collins found out about the trial 
results, he allegedly told his son Cameron Collins, also an Innate 
stockholder, who told his then-girlfriend’s father Stephen Zarsky, as 
well as several other stockholders.

Cameron Collins, Zarsky, and the 
stockholders Collins told subsequently sold their Innate stock before 
prices plunged, narrowly avoiding hundreds of thousands of dollars in 
losses, the indictment says.

The congressman, his son and Zarsky have
 all been charged with conspiracy, securities fraud, wire fraud and 
making false statements to the FBI, the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s office
 said. The Securities and Exchange Commission has filed its own civil 
action against the three men.

“Representative Collins, who, by virtue 
of his office, helps write the laws of this country, acted as if the law
 did not apply to him,” Berman said. “These charges are a reminder that 
this is a nation of laws, and everyone stands equal before the bar of 

“I believe I acted properly and within 
the law at all times,” he said. “I will mount a vigorous defense in 
court to clear my name. I look forward to being fully vindicated and 

The congressman’s attorneys Jonathan 
Barr and Jonathan New, of BakerHostetler, also said Wednesday they would
 “answer the charges filed against [Collins] in court and… mount a 
vigorous defense to clear his good name.”

“It is notable that even the government 
does not allege that Congressman Collins traded a single share of Innate
 Therapeutics stock,” they said in a statement. “We are confident he 
will be completely vindicated and exonerated.”

House Speaker Paul Ryan
 said in a statement the congressman would no longer serve on the House 
Energy and Commerce Committee, pending the ultimate outcome of the 

“While his guilt or innocence is a 
question for the courts to settle, the allegations against Rep. Collins 
demand a prompt and thorough investigation by the House Ethics 
Committee,” he said. “Insider trading is a clear violation of the public

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, meanwhile, said Americans “deserve better than the GOP’s corruption, cronyism and incompetence.”


“The charges against Congressman Collins
 show the rampant culture of corruption and self-enrichment among 
Republicans in Washington today,” she said. “The Ethics Committee must 
accelerate its own investigation into Congressman Collins’ illegal abuse
 of the public trust.”

The congressman is expected to appear in court again on Oct. 11.


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