New York GOP Rep. Chris Collins arrested over insider trading charges

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Republican Rep. Christopher Collins of NY has been charged with using inside information about a biotechnology company to make illicit stock trades.

The Justice Department indictment released Wednesday alleges that while Collins served on the board of the company, he passed inside information to his son after the company's main drug failed a trial.

His son Cameron Collins as well as his fiance's father are also named in the document.

Before the drug trial results were released publicly on June 26, Cameron Collins made more that 50 trades in Innate stock and sold almost 1.4 millions shares, the documents state.

Around 6:55 p.m. that evening, while at the picnic, Collins received an email from the CEO of Innate informing the baord of directors that the drug had failed to pass its trials and could not be sold to the public. They sold their stocks in the company before the public announcement, which caused the company's stock prices to drop by 92 percent. Zarsky is also said to have made trades.

Collins' attorneys said they plan to "mount a vigorous defense to clear his good name".

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

Collins's district in Western New York is solidly Republican and voted overwhelmingly for Trump in 2016.

Federal law enforcement officials on Wednesday said Rep.

Last October, the Office of Congressional Ethics said in a report that it had "substantial reason" to believe Collins may have used his office to help Innate.

Among the company's investors were Collins' daughter, Caitlin, his son, Cameron, and Rep.s Tom Price, the former Health and Human Services secretary who previously represented Georgia, Mike Conaway of Texas, Doug Lamborn of Colorado, Billy Long of Missouri and Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma, the Daily Beast reported past year.

Over the next few days, however, Cameron Collins sold off almost 1.4 million shares of Innate stock.

The indictment charges the congressman, his son Cameron Collins, and Stephen Zarsky with securities fraud, wire fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and counts of making false statements. "Makes no sense. How are these results even possible???"

Chris Collins couldn't sell off his stock, according to prosecutors; He was already under a congressional ethics investigation and his stock was in the Australian markets, which had already halted trading of Innate stock.

A statement from Collins's attorneys was posted on his House website. When the House's ethics committee began investigating the stock trades a year ago, his spokesperson called it a "partisan witch hunt".

He was one of the first members of Congress to officially endorse Donald Trump for president.

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