WASHINGTON: US Congressman Chris Collins indected on Wednesday by federal prosecutors on charges of alleged insider trading plot linked to his investments at an Australian biotech company, media disclosed.
Republican Representative and New Yorker Christopher Collins is in his third term and was also part of Trump’s presidential election campaign before taking office.
Collins and his son were charged with securities fraud, wire fraud, and making false statements to the FBI.
Collins had already been under surveillance from the Office of Congressional Ethics for his deep connections to Innate Immunotherapeutic and is said to have first passed inside information which he learned through his Congressional role on to his son, who then passed it on to another alleged conspirator.
The three were able to avoid nearly $768,000 in losses over the information, according to federal prosecutors.
Collins’ attorneys denied the allegations.
“We will answer the charges filed against Congressman Collins in Court and will mount a vigorous defense to clear his good name,” said Collins’ lawyers, Jonathan Barr and Jonathan New of BakerHostetlr, told US media. “It is noteworthy that even the government does not allege that Congressman Collins traded a single share of Innate Therapeutics stock. We are confident he will be completely vindicated and exonerated. Congressman Collins will have more to say on this issue later today.” Lawyer said