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Indicted Rep. Collins was early loyalist to Trump

NEW YORK —

Representative Chris Collins, one of President Trump’s earliest and most vocal supporters, was charged with insider trading Wednesday. The Republican from upstate New York was accused of tipping off his son and others to sell stock in an Australian pharmaceutical company before the results of one of its failed drug tests became public, federal prosecutors said.

The charges against Collins stem from his involvement with Innate Immunotherapeutics Ltd., a drug maker based in Sydney whose primary business was the research and development of a medication designed to treat a form of multiple sclerosis, according to an indictment.

Collins, 68, was attending the Congressional Picnic at the White House in June 2017 when he received a private e-mail that a test for a potentially lucrative experimental drug had failed, the indictment said. Fifteen minutes later, the congressman called his son, who sold his shares in the company, the indictment said. The selloff spared Collins and his son more than $570,000 in losses, the indictment said.

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The case cast what could be a long shadow in the House. At least five Republican lawmakers were shareholders in Innate Immunotherapeutics at the time of the selloff.

new york times