Two Texas Republicans are among the lawmakers who invested in an obscure Australian pharmaceutical company at the center of insider trading charges leveled Wednesday against Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y.
Collins, one of the largest shareholders of Innate Immunotherapeutics and a board member of the biotech firm, faces charges of securities fraud.
Chris Collins' lawyers responded swiftly, insisting he will be "completely vindicated".
Christopher Collins, a Republican Congressman representing the 27th District of NY, his son Cameron Collins, and Stephen Zarsky, the father of Cameron Collins's fiancée were charged by federal prosecutors in Manhattan.
House Speaker Paul Ryan said the House Ethics Committee would be investigating the congressman.
Christopher Collins has been indicted on insider trading charges, federal prosecutors announced Wednesday.
Price, who was President Trump's first HHS Secretary until resigning in late September of 2017, may have made out the best of any lawmaker who bought the Innate stock - Price was forced to sell his stock in February 2017 as part of a divestment agreement when he joined the Trump Cabinet.
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Prosecutors say the three avoided over $768,000 in losses by trading ahead of the public announcement of the failed drug trials. The indictment charges Collins with notifying his son, Cameron Collins, of the failed test just minutes after he learned the news.
In October of 2017, the Office of Congressional Ethics issued a report saying that Collins may have broken House rules by allegedly sharing insider information about the company.
Attorneys for Collins said they would "mount a vigorous defense to clear his good name".
According to the indictment, Collins, 68, got early word that a drug the company developed to treat multiple sclerosis wasn't performing well in a medical trial and passed on the tip to his son, Cameron.
Collins' dealings with Inate Immunotherapeutics are also the subject of an ongoing congressional ethics probe. Collins' Democratic challenger, Nate McMurray, called the charges "shocking and sad, but not surprising".
According to the indictment, the son even sold 50,000 shares while still on the phone with his father. But Collins advised Cameron to sell his stock, and Cameron later told Zarsky and six other family members to do the same, according to the indictment.