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Rep. Chris Collins: The allegations against me are meritless
New York Congressman Chris Collins addresses insider-trading charges.
Rep. Christopher Collins, R-NY, has been charged, the said on insider trading charges Wednesday, that he believes that the accusations against him “meritless” and he remains on the ballot for re-election.
“I’m going to have a strong defense to mount against the court clear my name,” Collins told reporters Wednesday evening said in answer to the indictment, the prosecutors filed against him earlier in the day. “I am glad you talked to is completely free and rehabilitated, ends any and all questions in connection with my affiliation with Congenital [immune therapeutics].”
NEW YORK REP. CHRISTOPHER COLLINS INDICTED ON INSIDER-TRADING CHARGES
The indictment charges 68-year-old Collins; his son, Cameron Collins, and the father was his son’s fiancée, Stephen Zarsky, with conspiracy, securities fraud, wire and making false statements to the FBI.
All three pleaded not guilty in court Wednesday afternoon.
The fraud counts related to securities held by an Australian biotechnology company called Innate immune therapeutics, where Collins served on the board.
U.S. attorney General: Rep. Collins betrayed the justice
“Many have speculated about my relationship with Innate,” the Congressman told reporters. “Here’s the simple facts are:” My connections with the society. I believe that I acted properly and within the law at all times with regard to my affiliation with Congenital.
“During my tenure in Congress, I have all the rules and all ethical guidelines when it comes to my personal investments, including those added with Congenital,” Collins.
Prosecutors claim that Collins forward secrets to Cameron in June 2017, and Cameron then traded on the inside information and gave them to Zarsky, who traded and tipped out at least three others.
According to the indictment, Collins specifically got early word that a drug the company developed for the treatment of multiple sclerosis was good in a medical study and went to the top of his son.
Rep. Collins arrest caps years legal issues
Prosecutors said the three avoided over $768,000 in losses by trading before the public announcement of the failed drug trials.
The fees, which, according to Geoffrey Berman, a lawyer for the U.S. Southern District of New York, “are a reminder that this is a country of laws, and that each stands before the bar of justice.”
The interest group Public Citizen filed a request for an investigation of Collins’ camp dealing with the office of Congressional ethics and the Securities and Exchange Commission in January 2017.
Collins, served New York, 27th District since 2013, ran freely in the Republican primary and holds what is largely considered a safe Republican seat in a state that went to Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in 2016. He is challenged by Democrat Nate McMurray, Grand Island, New York, town supervisor.
Fox News’ Andrew O’reilly contributed to this report.
Nicole Darrah cover breaking and trending news for FoxNews.com. You can follow her on Twitter @nicoledarrah.