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USA congressman, Trump loyalist, indicted for insider trading

USA congressman, Trump loyalist, indicted for insider trading

Rep. Christopher Collins, a Republican congressman from NY, was arrested Wednesday and charged with insider trading related to an Australian biotechnology company.

The case involved Innate Immunotherapeutics, an Australian biotech company. for which Collins served as a board member. The indictment says the trades allowed Cameron Collins and others to avoid more than $768,000 in losses.

The House Ethics Committee last October disclosed that it was investigating Collins for potentially violating federal law and House rules regarding insider trading. We are confident he will be completely vindicated and exonerated.

Rep. Collins was a director of the company and also a major investor.

Collins is estimated to be the 13th wealthiest member of Congress, with a projected net worth of $44 million. "It is notable that even the government does not allege that Congressman Collins traded a single share [of Innate stock]". According to an indictment unsealed Wednesday, the elder Collins learned that a drug from the company failed an FDA trial while he was at a White House picnic in June of 2017. He and the other defendants are charged with securities and wire fraud, conspiracy and lying to investigators. According to the complaint, he passed inside information regarding the results of a negative test trial for a drug the company was producing to treat multiple sclerosis on to his son, who relayed the information on to his fiancé's father.

On the day after the trial results were released, the company's stock lost 92 percent of its value.

Collins' attorneys said they plan to "mount a vigorous defense to clear his good name".

Collins, one of President Donald Trump's early supporters in Congress, came under fire early past year for investing in the Sydney-based Innate Immunotherapeutics while sitting on a House committee that oversees healthcare policy.

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