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  GOP Rep. Chris Collins charged with securities fraud
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ContributorIndyGeorgia 
Last EditedIndyGeorgia  Aug 08, 2018 06:52pm
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CategoryInvestigation
AuthorKyle Cheney, Jimmy Vielkind, and Laura Nahmias
News DateWednesday, August 8, 2018 02:40:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionRep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.), the first member of Congress to back President Donald Trump before the 2016 election, was indicted Wednesday by federal prosecutors and charged with fraud in connection to an alleged insider-trading scheme linked to his investments in an Australian biotech firm.

The third-term congressman, who represents a district in western New York, had been under scrutiny from the Office of Congressional Ethics for his connection to the company, Innate Immunotherapeutics. He was the company's largest shareholder and served on its board.

Prosecutors say that in 2017, Collins passed inside information to his son, Cameron, who passed it to another alleged conspirator, Stephen Zarsky, father of Cameron Collins' fiancee. The three — all of whom pleaded not guilty to charges of securities fraud, wire fraud and making false statements to the FBI — and other family and friends avoided about $768,000 in losses as a result of the inside information, prosecutors allege.

"Congressman Collins, who by virtue of his office helps to write the laws of our nation, acted as if the law didn't apply to him," said Geoffrey Berman, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, announcing the charges.

Collins' attorneys rejected the allegations.
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