New York Congressman Chris Collins Indicted on Insider Trading Charges

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A NY congressman and his son were indicted for insider trading related to the shares of an Australian biotechnology firm, federal prosecutors in Manhattan said on Wednesday.

The indictment obtained from a federal grand jury also charges Collins' son, Cameron Collins, as well as the father of his fiancee, Stephen Zarsky.

Collins, one of the largest shareholders of Innate Immunotherapeutics and a board member of the biotech firm, faces charges of securities fraud.

"The Congressman did not trade his shares, because of restrictions involving Innate shares in Australia, but he "instead tipped" his son, who quickly moved the next morning 'to sell approximately 16,508 shares of Innate". "We are confident he will be completely vindicated and exonerated", the statement reads.

The third-term congressman, who represents parts of Buffalo and Rochester, was due to appear in court later today.

Four days before the news went public, the indictment states, Mr Collins received an email from the company's chief executive detailing "bad news" about the trial.

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"In the hours and days after learning of the drug trial results, [Collins], his son and their associates exchanged a flurry of calls", said Steven Peikin, co-director of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) enforcement division. The indictment says the trades allowed Cameron Collins and others to avoid more than $768,000 in losses. The stock price rose as media reported on the men's holdings in the Australian company. Collins learned about the failure of a multiple sclerosis drug trial, MIS416, and passed on that information before that information was released publicly, prosecutors said.

Collins found out about the failed drug trial before it became public - getting an email about the results while attending the congressional picnic at the White House past year, the indictment alleges.

A GOP congressman from NY is arrested and facing charges related to insider trading.

Collins' trades in Innate Immunotherapeutics had already been the subject of a House ethics probe.

"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", Mr Ryan said, according to the Washington Post. The congressman allegedly shared non-public information with his son, Cameron, that spurred a series of trades based on insider information.

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