BUFFALO — Local Congressman Chris Collins responded to his insider trading charges in a Facebook post Wednesday evening after allegedly tipping off his son and another family member to sell their shares of an Australian biotechnology company before public disclosure of a failed drug trial.
Congressman Collins, his son Cameron, and Stephen Zarsky, the father of his son’s fiancee were charged with conspiracy, wire fraud and other counts. The trio were released on bond and will be back in court to face the charges in October. Prosecutors allege they sold off 1.5 million shares of stock prior to it’s approximately 65 percent plummet.
“I am proud to represent the people of New York’s 27th district. These charges that are being brought against me are meritless and I will fight to clear my name,” stated Collins in a Facebook post. “I’m confident I will be fully exonerated and vindicated as I continue to work hard to earn your vote this November.”
Collins represents the 27th Congressional District which includes all of Livingston County and potions or all of 7 other New York State Counties. Shortly after the charges were filed, House Speaker Paul Ryan dumped Collins from the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
He is currently being challenged by Democrat Nate McMurray in a bitterly contested race.