Republican congressman Chris Collins indicted for securities fraud

Chris Collins

The charges are relating to securities of Innate Immunotherapeutics, an Australian biotechnology company on whose board of directors Chris Collins served. He bought at least 4 million shares between 2016 and 2018, according to the reports.

"Throughout my tenure in Congress I have followed all rules and ethical guidelines when it comes to my personal investments", Collins said in an statement when he resigned.

No allegations of misconduct have been leveled against him or Conaway, a former chairman of the House Ethics Committee.

According to the charging documents, in June 2017 Chris Collins passed on information about a failed drug trial so his son, Zarsky and others could make trades.

"Christopher Collins knew or recklessly disregarded that he breached his duty by disclosing this inside information to Cameron Collins", the SEC said.

Collins, one of President Donald Trump's strongest congressional allies, remains under investigation by the committee, which has the power to sanction lawmakers.

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Successful completion of the trial was necessary for commercialization of the production in the USA, which was meant to treat secondary progressive multiple sclerosis, a stage of the disease that indicates the patient's condition is worsening despite treatment.

Cameron Collins is accused of passing on that information to his fiancee's father, Stephen Zarsky, and others, who also benefited financially from the insider knowledge.

Collins, a close ally of President Donald Trump who represents the 27th Congressional District of NY, is accused of passing on information he learned as a board member and major shareholder of Innate Immunotherapeutics, an Australian biotech company, to his son and others so they could sell stock to save money.

According to the indictment, the elder Collins was not able to sell his stock because it was held in Australia, where trading had been halted in advance of the company's announcement.

The charges were announced, and the indictment was unsealed in New York City on Wednesday.

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