USA prosecutors on Wednesday said Chris Collins, a Republican congressman from Western New York, has been indicted for insider trading in connection with the securities of Australian biotechnology company Innate Immunotherapeutics Ltd.
The insider trading crimes concern Innate Immunotherapeutics, an Australian biotech firm in which both Collins men were major shareholders.
According to the indictment, after Collins learned a trial regarding a drug to treat multiple sclerosis failed, he contacted his son, who traded on the information.
His son allegedly both acted on the information and conveyed it to Stephen Zarsky, the father of his fiancee.
Collins, who is one of the wealthiest members of Congress, was the first member to publicly endorse Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign.
In a statement published by the Times, Jonathan Barr and Jonathan New - serving as attorneys for Collins - responded to the allegation.
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"We are confident he will be completely vindicated and exonerated", they said in a statement.
The advocacy group Public Citizen filed a request for an investigation of Collins' stock dealings with the Office of Congressional Ethics and the Securities and Exchange Commission in January of 2017. The indictment says the trades allowed Cameron Collins and others to avoid more than $768,000 in losses.
According to prosecutors, Collins made the call to his son to get him to dump shares of the stock so that they wouldn't have to take a massive financial hit when news of the drug's failure broke.
The lawyers said Collins will say more on the indictment later on Wednesday.
Collins, whose district covers parts of western NY between Buffalo and Rochester, has denied any wrongdoing.