Corruption

Rep. Chris Collins Has Been Charged and Arrested

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Representative Christopher Collins (R-NY) was the first member of Congress to endorse Trump's 2016 campaign and, perhaps not coincidentally, I believe he is the first sitting representative to be arrested while Trump is in office.

Collins surrendered to federal agents this morning and was charged with insider trading and securities fraud.

The case is related to Innate Immunotherapeutics, an Australian pharmaceutical company, on which the elder Collins served on the board. He also is one of the firm's biggest shareholders, owning nearly 17 percent of the stock, which is traded on the Australian Securities Exchange and in the United States on the over-the-counter market.

According to a grand jury's indictment, Collins in June 2017 passed along material that was nonpublic regarding the results of a drug trial — meant to treat a form of multiple sclerosis — so his son "could use that information to make timely trades in Innate stock and tip others."

The drug trial had failed — and Innate's stock would eventually tumble by 92 percent.

According to federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York, Collins was at the White House congressional picnic when he learned that their drug trial failed. Collins then allegedly called his son and other business partners and arranged for them to dump their stocks before news of the failure was made public.

Collins has also been charged with lying to the FBI about his business dealings, and his son and co-conspirators have also been charged with fire and mail fraud.

Collins' lawyer has vowed to fight all of the charges and it doesn't appear that he intends to resign, but we'll see if that changes so close to the midterm election.

  • muselet

    Innate Immunotherapeutics always seemed to me to have a whiff of scam about it. The scientific claims the company made seemed exaggerated, and it made special efforts to get legislators to buy shares. I’m not going to say no legitimate company has ever done anything like that, but Innate seemed to push the boundaries just that little bit harder.

    If Christopher Collins did what he’s accused of doing, he was a very naughty boy and needs to be made an example of. He’s evidence that people in government should have all their investments placed in blind trusts for the duration of their service.

    –alopecia

  • katanahamon

    Isn’t it at least a little shocking the amount of corruption there is in the GOP? I’m hoping there’s less from the Dems, but, I’m betting there’s opportunistic money grubbing happening as it’s human nature. Why aren’t the people coming forward with legislation to forbid public servants from having these kinds of ties, and getting this sleazy, dark money crap out of politics? We’ve seen the results..when are we going to do something?

    • Draxiar

      Generally speaking the GOP has been the Party of Shameless Hypocrisy for a few decades now. They’re favorite tactic is accusing the Democrats of what they are actually doing. It’s really that simple…effective though.

    • Ceoltoir

      The difference is that if someone from the Democratic Party gets caught doing something illegal the party will try to force them out while the republican trash close ranks, pretend its a witch hunt and attack the investigation as biased.