Rep. Chris CollinsChristopher (Chris) Carl CollinsTrump tweet may doom House GOP effort on immigration House GOP discharge petition supporter says he likely won't sign a second one Live coverage: High drama as hardline immigration bill fails, compromise vote delayed MORE (R-N.Y.) has been arrested and charged with insider trading by the Justice Department.
The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of NY will hold a press conference at noon on Wednesday to announce the charges against Collins.
His son allegedly both acted on the information and conveyed it to Stephen Zarsky, the father of his fiancee.
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The charges, brought by the Manhattan U.S. Attorney's office, relate to securities of Innate Immunotherapeutics, an Australian biotechnology company on whose board Collins served.
In a statement to CNBC, attorneys for Collins vowed to "mount a vigorous defense to clear his good name". Indeed, Collins lost $17 million when the company's stock pice dipped down to five cents, according to reports from last June. In 2012, Congress passed the STOCK Act to make it illegal for members of Congress to buy and sell stocks based off information they receive as a result of their government position.
According to prosecutors, Collins made the call to his son to get him to dump shares of the stock so that they wouldn't have to take a massive financial hit when news of the drug's failure broke.
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In October, a congressional ethics investigation determined there was "a substantial reason to believe" Rep. Collins violated federal law when he promoted stock in Innate Immunotherapeutics using insider information.
"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. The indictment charges Collins and two others, including the congressman's son, with conspiracy, wire fraud and other counts.
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