The congressman, Cameron Collins, and Stephen Zarsky-the father of Cameron's fiancee-were charged Wednesday with securities fraud, wire fraud and making false statements to federal officials. The indictment says the trades allowed Cameron Collins and others to avoid more than $768,000 in losses. He is expected to appear in federal court in lower Manhattan later today.
His son then traded on that inside information and passed it to Zarsky, along with numerous unnamed co-conspirators, "so that they could utilize the information for the same objective", according to the indictment. At the time of his purchase, Innate was described as "a tiny pharmaceutical company from Australia that has no approved drugs and no backing from flashy venture capital firms".
On June 22 of 2017, Collins was attending the annual Congressional Picnic.
Collins was the biggest investor in the company, which is developing treatments for multiple sclerosis, and he reportedly was pitching it as a good investment to friends and House colleagues.
Collins's press office didn't immediately respond to an email request for comment. "How are these results even possible???" he wrote to the CEO of Innate.
There's no indication that Collins's legal troubles have any connection to the special counsel investigation into Russian election meddling, the Trump campaign and Russia.
At 9:17 that same evening, Cameron drove to his father-in-law Zarsky's house.
Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., delivers a speech on the second day of the Republican National Convention on July 19, 2016.
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On June 26 at the close of the market, Innate announced that the drug trial had failed. When the drug trials failed, the public announcement caused the stock price of Innate to plunge 92 percent.
House Speaker Paul Ryan said Wednesday that Collins would be removed from the House Energy and Commerce Committee "until the matter is settled".
Collins was one of Trump's first congressional supporters.
The congressman will speak to the charges later Wednesday, they said.
However, prosecutors say this was because he "was already under investigation by the Office of Congressional Ethics in connection with his holdings in, and promotion of, Innate".
Collins, a Republican from NY, served on the board of an Australian biotechnology company called Innate Immunotherapeutics, and was also the company's largest shareholder.
Collins has also pushed several bills that would have benefitted Innate, which has gotten the attention of the the House Ethics Committee.