Buffalo, NY (WBFO) – Federal court documents portray a scramble by Rep. Chris Collins (R-Clarence) and others in the wake of bad news about testing of MIS416, an Innate Immunotherapeutics drug designed to treat multiple sclerosis. Collins was a board member and major stockholder of the Australian biotech company, and prosecutors say he forwarded information about the testing before it was made public.
Here’s a timeline of allegations in charging documents:
June 22, 6:55 p.m. — Innate’s CEO emails the congressman and other directors about results of the drug trial — while Rep. Collins is at a congressional picnic at the White House. It begins: “I have bad news to report.”
7:10 p.m. — Rep. Collins responds, “Wow. Makes no sense. How are those results even possible???”
7:11 p.m. — Rep. Collins phones his son. After several missed calls, they connect for a call that lasts six minutes. Rep. Collins relays the information, “knowing that it was in breach of his duties to Innate and anticipating that Cameron Collins would use it to trade and tip others,” charging documents state.
9:17 p.m. — Cameron Collins and fiancee go to the home of her father, Stephen Zarsky, and they discuss the failed drug trial. Cameron Collins also explains that he plans to sell his Innate stock, but will delay the trades to avoid depressing the stock price — allowing Zarsky and family members to get a better price for their shares.
June 23, 7:42 a.m. — Cameron Collins places an online order to sell more than 16,500 shares of Innate on the U.S. Over The Counter market.
7:52 a.m. — Zarsky sells all of his 303,000 shares.
3:12 p.m. Cameron Collins has a five-minute phone call with his father. During the call, Cameron Collins places an online order to sell about 50,000 shares of Innate stock. That is one of 18 sell orders he places during the day.
June 26 — Cameron Collins places 36 sell orders of Innate stock. Overall, on June 23 and 26, he sells nearly 1.4 millions shares.
Drug trial results are released publicly. Innate’s stock price falls more than 90 percent.
Cameron Collins’ recent trades allow him to avoid $570,900 in losses.
Prosecutors say Rep. Collins did not sell any of his own shares because he was under investigation by the Office of Congressional Ethics and his shares were traded on the Australian stock exchange, which had halted activity in Innate stock.