Collins was President Trump’s first congressional endorsement.
A New York Republican Congress member who bragged about turning his friends and acquaintances into millionaires — and was one of President Trump’s earliest and biggest supporters — was just arrested for insider trading.
Rep. Chris Collins, along with his son Cameron Collins and the father of his son’s fiancée, Stephen Zarsky, was arrested by FBI agents early Wednesday morning, according to NBC News. The case is centered on the Australia-based pharmaceutical company Innate Immunotherapeutics, a company in which Collins is currently the No. 2 shareholder. At one point, he held more than $45 million in Innate stock.
According to the federal government’s indictment, Collins shared non-public information about Innate — specifically, about negative results resulting from Innate’s clinical trials — with his son, who then passed that information along to Zarsky. The federal government alleges that by doing so, Collins, his son, and Zarsky were able to avoid nearly $800,000 in potential losses.
Collins even bragged publicly, and in front of reporters, about how many of his friends, colleagues, and donors he had made wealthy by recommending they invest in Innate.
OH in the speaker’s lobby: ‘Do you know how many millionaires I’ve made in Buffalo the past few months?’ –@RepChrisCollins on his cellphone
Collins was the first member of Congress to endorseDonaldTrump, doing so on February 24, 2016, and he served as the congressional liaison to the Trump transition team.
In response to the federal government’s indictment, Collins’s lawyers released a statement Wednesday morning saying, “We are confident he will be completely vindicated and exonerated.”