presidential candidacy, was indicted by federal prosecutors Wednesday on charges of securities fraud connected to an alleged insider trading scheme.

Federal prosecutors in New York on Wednesday charged New York Republican Rep. Chris Collins, his son and another man with 13 counts of securities fraud, wire fraud and false statements stemming from an alleged insider trading scheme centered on an Australian pharmaceutical company.

Within minutes, Chris Collins phoned his son and relayed the information "knowing that it was in breach of his duties to Innate and anticipating that Cameron Collins would use it to trade and tip others", the documents state.

Collins' seat was considered vulnerable even before the charges were announced, and he was targeted in a push by Andrew Cuomo, the governor, and other New York Democrats seeking to unseat him as the party looks to take control of the House of Representatives in November's midterm elections.


Collins is estimated to be the 13th wealthiest member of Congress, with a projected net worth of $44 million.

Collins was on the board of Innate Immunotherapetutics, one of its largest shareholders, and had access to nonpublic information about the company.

Charging documents said Innate was testing a drug called MIS416, to see if it was an effective treatment for Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis. The probe made a similar finding about a 2013 meeting Collins attended at the National Institutes of Health, where he asked staff to meet with the Australian company about clinical trial designs.

All along, Collins denied any wrongdoing.


Collins, who was first elected in 2012, threw his support behind Trump in February 2016, becoming the first Congressional Republican to endorse the future president.

"Congressman Collins will have more to say on this issue later today", they added.

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

On the day after the trial results were released, the company's stock lost 92 percent of its value.


"We are confident he will be completely vindicated and exonerated", they said in a statement.

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