NEW YORK (Reuters) – A federal choose on Thursday set a Feb. three, 2020 trial date for Christopher Collins, a Republican U.S. congressman from New York who was charged earlier this yr with collaborating in an insider buying and selling scheme involving an Australian biotechnology firm.
U.S. Rep. Christopher Collins (R-NY) departs the Thurgood Marshall United States Courthouse following his arraignment on insider buying and selling expenses in New York, U.S., August eight, 2018. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
U.S. District Judge Vernon Broderick set the date at a listening to in Manhattan federal courtroom at which Collins himself was not current, however was represented by his authorized counsel.
Prosecutors had sought a date subsequent yr. The 2020 date means the trial won’t loom over the November elections, when Collins will search one other time period in Congress. Non-partisan analysts have mentioned that Collins is more likely to win.
Collins’ son Cameron and Stephen Zarsky, the daddy of Cameron Collins’ fiancée, are additionally defendants within the case. All three pleaded not responsible after they had been charged in August. Christopher Collins mentioned the costs had been baseless.
Collins represents New York’s 27th Congressional District, which incorporates areas surrounding Buffalo and Rochester.
The legal case pertains to Innate Immunotherapeutics Ltd, the place Christopher Collins sat on the board and held a 16.eight p.c stake.
Prosecutors mentioned that in June 2017, whereas attending the congressional picnic on the White House, Collins discovered in an e mail from Innate’s chief govt trial for its proposed secondary a number of sclerosis drug MIS416 had failed.
According to the indictment, Collins instantly known as his son and informed him the information. Cameron Collins in flip informed his fiancée, her mother and father and a pal, and Zarsky went on to tip his brother, his sister and a pal, the indictment mentioned.
Christopher Collins didn’t commerce his personal Innate inventory, which misplaced thousands and thousands of in worth, in keeping with the indictment. Prosecutors mentioned the congressman was “virtually precluded” from buying and selling partly as a result of he already confronted a congressional ethics probe over Innate.
However, prosecutors mentioned others used the insider data to keep away from greater than $768,000 in losses when Innate’s share worth plunged 92 p.c on information of the drug trial’s failure.
Reporting by Brendan Pierson in New York; Editing by Phil Berlowitz