Rep. Chris Collins, accused of insider trading, says he'll stay on ballot for re-election
Rep. Christopher Collins, R-N.Y., who was indicted on insider trading charges Wednesday, stated he believes that charges filed against him "are meritless" and he will stay on the ballot for re-election.
"I will mount a vigorous defense in court to clear my name," Collins told reporters Wednesday evening in response to the indictment prosecutors filed against him earlier in the day. "I appear forward to becoming completely vindicated and exonerated, ending any and all queries relating to my affiliation with Innate [Immunotherapeutics]."
NEW YORK REP. CHRISTOPHER COLLINS INDICTED ON INSIDER TRADING CHARGES
The indictment charges 68-year-old Collins his son, Cameron Collins and the father of his son’s fiancée, Stephen Zarsky, with conspiracy, securities fraud, wire fraud and creating false statements to the FBI.
All 3 pleaded not guilty in court Wednesday afternoon.
The fraud counts relate to securities of an Australian biotechnology organization called Innate Immunotherapeutics, where Collins served on the board.
"Many have speculated about my partnership with Innate," the congressman told reporters. "Here are the easy facts: My connections with the firm are properly identified. I believe I acted effectively and inside the law at all occasions with regard to my affiliation with Innate.
"Throughout my tenure in Congress, I have followed all rules and all ethical recommendations when it comes to my personal investments, including these with Innate," Collins added.
Innate "wishes to advise that it has cooperated completely with requests for details made to it by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)," the business said in a statement, adding that both Innate "and its directors/officers (excepting Mr. Collins) are not beneath investigation. The Organization considers the ongoing investigation to be a private matter to Mr. Collins."
Prosecutors allege that Collins passed along secrets to Cameron in June 2017, and that Cameron then traded on the inside details and passed it on to Zarsky, who allegedly traded on it and tipped off at least 3 other people.
According to the indictment, Collins particularly got early word that a drug the firm developed to treat several sclerosis wasn’t performing effectively in a medical trial and passed on the tip to his son.
Prosecutors stated the three avoided over $768,000 in losses by trading ahead of the public announcement of the failed drug trials.
The charges, according to Geoffrey Berman, an attorney for the U.S. Southern District of New York, "are a reminder that this is a land of laws and that absolutely everyone stands before the bar of justice."
The advocacy group Public Citizen filed a request for an investigation of Collins’ stock dealings with the Workplace of Congressional Ethics and the Securities and Exchange Commission in January 2017.
Collins, who has served New York’s 27th District given that 2013, ran unopposed in the Republican principal and holds what’s largely deemed a safe Republican seat in a state that went to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in 2016. He’s being challenged by Democrat Nate McMurray, a Grand Island, New York, town supervisor.
Fox News’ Lissa Kaplan, Andrew O’Reilly and Tamara Gitt contributed to this report.
Published at Thu, 09 Aug 2018 02:00:00 +0000