USA congressman, Trump loyalist, indicted for insider trading

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Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY) was arrested and indicted on federal insider trading charges Wednesday.

Cameron Collins, the son, and his fiancée's father, Stephen Zarsky, are also charged with insider trading of Innate Immunotherapeutics Limited stocks.

The Department of Justice released a statement that said the indictment is related to an Australian biotechnology company, Innate Immunotherapeutics.

Collins' lawyers noted in a statement that the government has not said the congressman traded any shares of the stock.

The attorneys added that Collins "will have more to say on this issue later today".

Collins, whose district covers parts of western NY between Buffalo and Rochester, has denied any wrongdoing.

The charging documents portray a scramble by the congressman and others in the wake of bad news about the drug trial.

While Collins bought the stocks before a crash, Culberson bought at a peak price in January 2017, the Houston Chronicle reported.

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Collins, who has previously come under fire for investing in Innate while sitting on a House committee that oversees health-care policy, isn't accused of selling shares based on the negative drug trial.

Collins gained personal benefit and provided nonpublic information to his son Cameron Collins who sold almost $1.4 million of Innate Immunotherapeutics shares, according to a complaint filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The trades allowed Collins, his son, and Zarsky to avoid $768,000 in losses, according to the indictment.

ABC News's Aaron Katersky reports that Collins' alleged crime was a family affair.

Collins, who resigned in April from the Innate board, has denied wrongdoing.

Attorneys for Cameron Collins said, "We intend to mount a vigorous defense on behalf of our client". Innate's CEO emailed the congressman and other directors about the results on the evening of June 22 - when Collins was at a congressional picnic at the White House. Collins' Democratic challenger, Nate McMurray, called the charges "shocking and sad, but not surprising".

As a result, Cameron Collins avoided $570,900 in losses.

"While his guilt or innocence is a question for the courts to settle, the allegations against Rep Collins demand a prompt and thorough investigation by the House Ethics Committee", Mr Ryan said, according to the Washington Post. "Insider trading is a clear violation of the public trust".

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