Representative Chris Collins, a New York Republican who was one of President Trump’s earliest and most vocal supporters, was charged with insider trading on Wednesday. He was accused of having sold his stock in an Australian pharmaceutical company before the results of one of its failed drug tests became public, federal prosecutors said.
The charges against Mr. Collins stem from his involvement with Innate Immunotherapeutics Limited, a drug maker based in Sydney, Australia whose primary business was the research and development of a medication designed to treat a form of multiple sclerosis, according to an indictment.
In June 2017, just minutes after receiving a private email from the company’s chief executive that a test for the drug had failed, Mr. Collins, who sat on the firm’s board of directors and was one of its largest shareholders, called his son, Cameron Collins, who sold their shares in the company, avoiding losses of more than $750,000, the indictment said.
“We will answer the charges filed against Congressman Collins in court and will mount a vigorous defense to clear his good name,” Mr. Collins’ lawyers, Jonathan Barr and Jonathan New, said in statement. “It is notable that even the government does not allege that Congressman Collins traded a single share” of the company’s stock.