UPDATE | GOP congressman from New York charged with insider trading


NEW YORK (AP) — Republican U.S. Rep. Christopher Collins of New York was arrested today on charges he fed inside information that he gleaned from sitting on the board of a biotechnology company to his son, helping others dodge hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses when bad news came out.

The charges were announced against Collins, a staunch supporter of President Donald Trump who is up for re-election in November.

An indictment unsealed in federal court in Manhattan charges Collins, the congressman's son and the father of the son's fiance with conspiracy, wire fraud and other counts.

Prosecutors say the charges relate to a scheme to gain insider information about Innate Immunotherapeutics Limited, a biotechnology company headquartered in Sydney, Australia, with offices in Auckland, New Zealand.

According to the indictment, the defendants tried to get early word on the results of trials of a drug the company developed to treat multiple sclerosis.

The 68-year-old Collins, a conservative who was first elected in 2014 to represent parts of western New York between Buffalo and Rochester, has denied any wrongdoing.

When the House Ethics Committee began investigating the stock trades a year ago, his spokeswoman called it a "partisan witch hunt."

"We will answer the charges filed against Congressman Collins in court and will mount a vigorous defense to clear his good name," his attorneys, Jonathan Barr and Jonathan New, said in a statement. "It is notable 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."

All three defendants were in federal custody Wednesday and were expected to make their initial court appearance in the afternoon. Prosecutors also planned to hold a news conference.

10:05 a.m.

NEW YORK (AP) — Republican U.S. Rep. Christopher Collins of New York has been indicted on charges that he used inside information about a biotechnology company to make illicit stock trades.

The charges were announced and the indictment unsealed today in New York City.

The indictment charges Collins and two others, including the congressman's son, with conspiracy, wire fraud and other counts.

Prosecutors say the charges relate to a scheme to gain insider information about a biotechnology company headquartered in Sydney, Australia, with offices in Auckland, New Zealand.

According to the indictment, the defendants tried to get early word on the results of tests by Innate Immunotherapeutics Limited.

The company developed a drug intended to treat secondary progressive Multiple Sclerosis.

Collins has denied any wrongdoing.

9:46 a.m.

NEW YORK (AP) — Republican U.S. Rep. Christopher Collins of New York has been indicted on security-fraud charges. He surrendered to the FBI this morning.

This is a breaking news story. Check Vindy.com for updates.

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