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Collins charged with insider trading

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 8 August 2018 at 10:39 am

Congressman’s son, father of son’s fiancé also indicted

File photo: Chris Collins speaks at the Orleans County Republican Rally in October 2016.

Congressman Chris Collins has been arrested for insider trading. He surrendered to federal authorities in Manhattan today.

Collins was arrested along his son Cameron, and Stephen Zarsky, the father of Cameron’s fiancé.

They have been charged with conspiracy to commit securities fraud, one count of wire fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count each of making false statements to the FBI.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District has scheduled a press conference for noon to detail the allegations.

A 30-page civil complaint accuses the trio of insider trading. Specifically, Collins is accused of using information from negative clinical trial tests conducted by Innate Immunotherapeutics, a pharmaceutical company. Collins was a member of Innate’s board of directors and a major shareholder for the biotech firm based in Australia.

In an indictment unsealed Wednesday morning, prosecutors say the congressman, whose 8-county district includes Orleans County, passed information to his son, who also is a major shareholder in the company. Cameron Collins is then accused of relaying inside information to others so they could time trades in the company to their benefit.

The investors in the know were able to sell shares, avoiding $768,000 in losses, before damaging news hit about a failed drug trial for Innate, according to the indictment.

“We will answer the charges filed against Congressman Collins in Court and will mount a vigorous defense to clear his good name,” the congressman’s attorneys – Jonathan Barr and Jonathan New, Baker Hostetler – said in a statement on Collins’ Congressional website. “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. Congressman Collins will have more to say on this issue later today.”

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