WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Former U.S. Representative Chris Collins of New York, his son and an associate settled insider trading charges with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the agency said in a statement on Monday.
The settlement bars Collins, an early backer of President Donald Trump, from serving as an officer or director of a public company. It requires his son, Cameron Collins, and associate Stephen Zarsky to repay the losses they avoided as a result of their insider trading, $634,299 and $159,880, respectively.
Chris Collins pleaded guilty in a New York City court to charges of conspiracy and making false statements to investigators in October, the day after he resigned his seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The case arose from Collins’ role as a board member and stakeholder of Australian biotechnology company Innate Immunotherapeutics Ltd. Collins tipped his son to non-public negative trial results for a multiple sclerosis drug developed by Innate Immunotherapeutics, the SEC said. His son then shared that information with others, according to the complaint.
The then-congressman did not himself trade his shares based on the information but Cameron Collins and Zarsky together sold nearly 1.7 million shares in advance of Innate Immunotherapeutics’ public announcement of the negative results, the SEC said.