Specifically, the indictment alleges that Collins past year passed "material, nonpublic information" about Australian biotech firm Innate Immunotherapeutics to his son so he "could use that information to make timely trades in Innate stock and tip others".
Prosecutors say the charges relate to a scheme to gain insider information about a biotechnology company headquartered in Sydney, Australia, with offices in Auckland, New Zealand.
While the drug failed testing tanked the company's share price by 92 percent, Collins' tip allowed all three men to avoid almost $800,000 in losses, according to the indictment.
Also charged is Collins's son, Cameron Collins, and the father of Cameron's fiancee, Stephen Zarsky.
Collins was the first congressman to endorse Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, and has been a loyal defender of Trump's agenda on Capitol Hill.
In a statement published by the Times, Jonathan Barr and Jonathan New - serving as attorneys for Collins - responded to the allegation.
Attorneys representing Collins released the following statement on Wednesday: "We will answer the charges filed against Congressman Collins in Court and will mount a vigorous defense to clear his good name". It is notable that even the government does not allege that Congressman Collins traded a single share of Innate Therapeutics stock.
The lawyers said Collins will say more on the indictment later on Wednesday.
This led to three trades, it is alleged, that helped the defendants avoid $768,000 United States in losses.
During the tax reform debate, when his fellow New York GOP members of Congress were up in arms about a provision that would likely raise taxes on many New Yorkers, Collins voiced support for the plan.
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