By Staff –
The House of Representatives Office of Congressional Ethics has found “substantial reason to believe” that Representative Chris Collins, R-N.Y., may have violated federal law by sharing material, nonpublic stock information regarding Australian company Innate Immunotherapeutics, according to a report.
The office said Rep. Collins may have also violated House rules by sponsoring legislation which could have potentially benefitted the company.
“If Representative Collins shared material nonpublic information in the purchase of Innate stock, then he may have violated House rules, standards of conduct, and federal law,” the office stated. “Representative Collins may have also purchased discounted Innate stock that was not available to the public, and that was offered to him based on his status as a Member of the House of Representatives. If Representative Collins purchased discounted stock that was not available to the public and that was offered to him based on his status as a Member of the House of Representatives, then he may have violated House rules, standards of conduct, and federal law. Representative Collins attended a meeting at the National Institutes of Health (“NIH”) in November 2013. In that meeting, Representative Collins discussed Innate and requested that an NIH employee meet with Innate employees to discuss clinical trial designs. If Representative Collins took official actions or requested official actions that would assist a single entity in which he had a significant financial interest, then he may have violated House rules and standards of conduct.”
Collins has recently denied the allegations, and he released the following statement regarding the matter:
“Throughout my tenure in Congress I have followed all rules and ethical guidelines when it comes to my personal investments. I was elected to Congress based upon my success in the private sector, and my willingness to use that experience every day to facilitate an environment that creates economic opportunity and jobs. I thank the House Ethics Committee for their meticulous review of this case and for the tough work they do to hold all Members of Congress accountable to the highest standards of conduct.”
Collins is one of Innate’s largest shareholders, and he’s also a member of the company’s board of directors.
According to the office, officials will continue to review the matter.
Visit https://ethics.house.gov/sites/ethics.house.gov/files/Review%20No%2017-3509_Report%20%26%20Findings.pdf to view the full report.