New York congressman arrested on insider trading charges

Congressman Chris Collins Arrested For Insider Trading

The indictment charged Collins, his son Cameron, and Stephen Zarsky, the father of Cameron Collins' fiancée, with securities fraud, wire fraud and other crimes.

Rep. Chris Collins leaves the House Republican Conference meeting in the Capitol on January 9, 2018.

A grand jury returned an indictment charging the trio with insider trading.

Cameron Collins and Stephen Zarsky, 66, are also accused of lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The SEC complaint says Collins tipped off his son Cameron with the expectation he would trade on the news, and that his actions constitute illicit disclosure of "material, nonpublic information" about Innate's negative drug trial results.

According to the indictment, Collins, a member of Innate's board of directors and one of its largest shareholders, had access to non-public information about the development of MIS416.

Collins, who was at a picnic for congressional families at the White House, replied: "Wow".

The email was sent at 5:30 a.m. - before Collins turned himself in to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

"Wow", Collins wrote back at 7:10 p.m., according to the indictment. "Makes no sense. How are these results even possible???" "Congressman Collins had an obligation, a legal duty to keep that information secret until that information was released by the company to the public". He called seven times before he finally got through to Cameron at 7:16.

Cameron Collins and his fiancé then drove to Zarksy's house, arriving at 9.17pm.

Prosecutors have also accused Cameron Collins of tipping off his fiancee, his fiancee's parents and a friend.

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Collins is scheduled to hold a press conference in Buffalo on Wednesday evening, according to his office.

The drug trial had failed-and Innate's stock would eventually tumble by 92 percent.

"These charges are a reminder that this is a nation of laws, and that everybody stands equal before the bar of justice", U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman said at a news conference in Manhattan.

Collins, who was first elected in 2012, is now running for a fourth term.

It is relatively rare for prosecutors to indict a sitting elected official, particularly in an election year, and in the case of Collins, prosecutors at the Southern District of NY carefully weighed when to bring the charges, staying mindful of the upcoming election cycle in November, according to people familiar with the matter.

Collins, who was the first sitting member of Congress to endorse Donald Trump's presidential bid, surrendered Wednesday morning at his attorney's office in Manhattan, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

"We intend to mount a vigorous defense on behalf of our client", Tom Hanusik and Rebecca Ricigliano, lawyers for Cameron Collins, said in a statement.

Last October, the Office of Congressional Ethics reported that it had "substantial reason" to believe Collins may have used his office to help Innate.

The charges follow a review by the Office of Congressional Ethics past year, which concluded that Collins "may have shared material nonpublic information in the purchase of Innate stock", and that he "may have also purchased discounted Innate stock that was not available to the public and that was offered to him based on his status as a Member of the House of Representatives". The ethics committee announced in the release of the report that it would start a review of Collins.

House Speaker Paul Ryan said Wednesday that Collins would be removed from the House Energy and Commerce Committee "until the matter is settled". "Insider trading is a clear violation of the public trust".

The House Ethics Committee declined to comment on the indictment Wednesday.

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