NBC News reports that Rep. Christopher Collins (R-NY), was arrested Wednesday morning for charges related to “securities fraud.”
Congressman Collins surrendered himself to the FBI Wednesday after being charged along with his son, Cameron Collins, and his son’s fiancée’s father, Stephen Zarsky in case is related to Australian biotech company called Innate Immunotherapeutics Limited, of which the congressman was on the Board of Directors, per the indictment. It is alleged that Christopher Collins used his position with Innate Immunotherapeutics Limited to help his family make “illicit stock trades” in order to avoid $768,000 in financial losses.
According to the SEC, on June, Cameron Collins on June 15 “opened a new brokerage account and used funds from his 401(k) account to purchase 16,508 extra shares. Likewise, five days later, Cameron Collins’ girlfriend invested in Innate for the first time on June 20, 2017, buying 40,464 shares in a brokerage account that she had opened the previous day,” the complaint said.
The purchase and sale is said to revolve around Christopher Collins’ knowledge that clinical trials had gone terribly. This would be otherwise known as insider trading. The trio are also charged with lying to the FBI in interviews to cover up the alleged scheme. All three men pleaded not guilty Wednesday in a Manhattan federal court and were bail was set at $500,000 apiece.
Per NBC News, Collins “placed his family and friends above the public good,” said Geoffrey Berman, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York.
Collins appeared defiant Wednesday night as he vowed continue his campaign for re-election and fight the federal charges against him. He said aid he planned to remain on the November ballot, and called the charges “meritless.”
The New York Congressman added:
“I believe I acted properly and within the laws at all times. Throughout my tenure in Congress, I have followed all rules and ethical guidelines.“