GOP Rep. Collins Arrested, Charged With Insider Trading By New York Prosecutors

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Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.) has been arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for insider trading related to an Australian biotechnology company.

An indictment obtained from a federal grand jury also charges Collins' son, Cameron Collins, as well as the father of his fiancee, Stephen Zarsky.

The insider trading crimes concern Innate Immunotherapeutics, an Australian biotech firm in which both Collins men were major shareholders.

Attorneys representing Collins said in response to the indictment that they are confident the congressmen will be "completely vindicated and exonerated", NBC producer Alex Moe reported. The charges were announced and the was indictment unsealed in New York City on Wednesday.

Collins, one of President Donald Trump's early supporters in Congress, came under fire early past year for investing in the Sydney-based Innate Immunotherapeutics while sitting on a House committee that oversees healthcare policy. "It is notable that even the government does not allege that Congressman Collins traded a single share [of Innate stock]". Prosecutors say Cameron Collins then passed the information along to Zarsky, who made a trade.

Collins was the first congressman to endorse Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, and has been a loyal defender of Trump's agenda on Capitol Hill. He served on Innate's board of directors.

"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.

His district covers parts of western NY between Buffalo and Rochester.

This led to three trades, it is alleged, that helped the defendants avoid $768,000 United States in losses.

In a statement to CNBC, attorneys for Collins vowed to "mount a vigorous defense to clear his good name".

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