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Republican House member expected to plead guilty in insider trading case

Rep. Cris Collins is accused of sharing a stock tip with his son.

TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images

A New York Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives is expected to plead guilty in a case involving insider trading later this week, the New York Post reported.

The newspaper cited court documents and a source familiar with the case in a story anticipating Rep. Chris Collins' guilty plea to "unspecified charges" Thursday.

Prosecutors say that the Buffalo-area congressman provided his son, Cameron, with a stock tip after the foreign biotech company at which he served as a board member failed a drug trial in 2017. The younger Collins, according to the allegations, then passed it to his fiancee's father, Stephen Zarsky. In total, prosecutors say that the trio, their family and associates ended up dodging almost $800,000 in stock losses as a result of the information.

Chris Collins, Cameron Collins, and Stephen Zarsky were arraigned in August 2018 and all pleaded not guilty to wire fraud, securities fraud, and making false statements to federal investigators.

Earlier this month, prosecutors arraigned Rep. Collins on a streamlined set of federal charges meant to speed up the trial process and "avoid unnecessary pretrial litigation that could delay the resolution of the matter." He pleaded not guilty to those charges as well, later expressing confidence that he would be exonerated in the matter.

The House Ethics Committee started looking into allegations of wrongdoing against Collins in 2017. A report based on initial House investigators' initial review of the matter said there was "substantial reason to believe that Representative Collins shared material nonpublic information in the purchase of Innate stock, in violation of House rules, standards of conduct, and federal law."

Collins, 69, has served as the representative for New York's 27th Congressional District since 2013, retaining his seat by fewer than 1,000 votes in 2018. Before seeking federal office he served as Erie County Executive.

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