Republican U.S. Rep. Chris Collins says he will remain on the ballot running for re-election in New York as he fights charges that he used inside information about a biotechnology company to make illicit stock trades.
At a press conference Wednesday night, Collins called the charges “meritless” and said he looks forward to being exonerated. He earlier pleaded not guilty to insider-trading charges.
Prosecutors say Collins got an email while attending a picnic last year at the White House that the company’s medication had failed an important medical trial. They say Collins told his son, who then dumped his stock in the company before the trial results were announced publicly.
Collins is a staunch supporter of President Donald Trump and was among the first sitting members of Congress to endorse his candidacy.
U.S. Rep. Chris Collins has pleaded not guilty to insider trading charges.
The Republican from western New York appeared in a courtroom in New York City Wednesday afternoon to face accusations that he illegally leaked confidential information about a pharmaceutical company to his son and the father of his son’s fiancee.
Collins was on the board of the Australian company, Innate Immunotherapeutics Limited.
Prosecutors say he got an email while attending a picnic last year at the White House that the company’s medication had failed an important medical trial.
They say Collins told his son, Cameron, who then dumped his stock in the company before the trial results were announced publicly.
Cameron Collins and his fiancee’s father, Stephen Zarsky, also pleaded not guilty in the case.
A federal prosecutor in New York says Republican U.S. Rep. Chris Collins gave an illegal tip that allowed his son and others to avoid hundreds of thousands of dollars in bio-tech stock losses.
U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman said at a news conference on Wednesday that Collins was supposed to keep secret “devastating news” he received in an email about a failed drug trial in 2017.
Instead, the prosecutor said the congressman called his son within minutes to warn him his investment was in trouble.
Prosecutors in the insider trading case say the call then set off a chain of illicit tips involving the son, the father of the son’s fiancee and others.
Collins was to appear in federal court in Manhattan later Wednesday to face conspiracy, wire fraud and other counts. He’s denied any wrongdoing.
Republican U.S. Rep. Chris Collins of New York has been indicted on charges that he used inside information about a biotechnology company to make illicit stock trades.
The charges were announced and the indictment unsealed in New York City on Wednesday.
The indictment charges Collins and two others, including the congressman’s son, with conspiracy, wire fraud and other counts.
Prosecutors say the charges relate to a scheme to gain insider information about a biotechnology company headquartered in Sydney, Australia, with offices in Auckland, New Zealand.
According to the indictment, the defendants tried to get early word on the results of tests by Innate Immunotherapeutics Limited.
The company developed a drug intended to treat Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis.
Collins has denied any wrongdoing.