GOP congressman Chris Collins indicted on insider trading charges

Hannah Rogers
August 8, 2018

Collins, 68, was charged with conspiracy to commit securities fraud, securities fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud and making false statements, according to the indictment. Neither has responded to requests for comment since the Collins indictment was handed up. He will be arraigned later Wednesday.

"Rep. Christopher Collins of NY has been arrested and indicted on charges tied to securities fraud". It is notable that even the government does not allege that Congressman Collins traded a single share of Innate Therapeutics stock.

In a statement, the congressman's legal counsel addressed the accusations, expressing confidence he will be vindicated and exonerated in court.

Successful completion of the trial was necessary for commercialization of the production in the US, which was meant to treat secondary progressive multiple sclerosis, a stage of the disease that indicates the patient's condition is worsening despite treatment. The Chronicle pointed out that Culberson's past investment history does not square with his purchase of biotech stocks and his opponent, a research physician, has wondered what led Culberson to invest, "since at the time he bought it in January there had been no published research articles or significant clinical trial updates on the drug, known as MIS416". And because Innate "had no other significant products in development, its stock prices was tied to the success of MIS416", the court documents state. They sold their stocks in the company before the public announcement, which caused the company's stock prices to drop by 92 percent. He is up for re-election this year, and is being challenged by Grand Island Town Supervisor Nathan McMurray, a Democrat. The ethics committee announced in the release of the report that it would start a review of Collins. But it but found there wasn't enough evidence to warrant a congressional probe. He served on Innate's board of directors. "Cameron Collins traded on the inside information and passed it to Stephen Zarsky". The outside, non-partisan Office of Congressional Ethics began a review of Collins' activity in March 2017 and voted to send its findings to the House ethics panel that July, which can formally launch investigations and recommend any sanctions against any lawmaker it determines has broken any rules.

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Cameron Collins and others cited in the documents held stock on the U.S. Over The Counter market, where trading in Innate was still allowed.

"One of my father's best friends died of MS, and we have a family friend with multiple sclerosis, so I'm always on the lookout for breakthroughs on treating MS".

As a result, Cameron Collins avoided $570,900 in losses.

According to the inducement, Collins was shocked when he was informed about the drug's failed trial.

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