Oct. 4 (UPI) — Former Rep. Chris Collins’ son and the younger Collins’ prospective father-in-law pleaded guilty to felony insider trading charges on Thursday.
Cameron Collins, 26, pleaded guilty to one charge of conspiracy to commit security fraud, saying that he sold stocks in Australian biotech firm Innate Immunotherapeutics after receiving a call from his father about a failed drug trial.
“Over a few days in June 2017, I agreed with others, including my father, to sell my shares of Innate Immunotherapeutics,” he said. “I did this based on information I received from my father whom I understood owed a fiduciary duty to the company to not share that information.”
Cameron Collins also said he shared the stock tip with the father of his then-fiancee, Stephen Zarsky, who also pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to commit securities fraud.
“On the morning of June 23, out of fear, in agreement with my family, I sold all my shares in Innate to avoid financial losses I could not afford,” Zarsky said.
The two men entered their pleas two days after Chris Collins pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit securities fraud and making false statements, and resigned his seat representing New York’s 27th Congressional District in the U.S. House as a Republican.
Chris Collins faces up to 57 months in prison on the two counts, while his son and Zarsky each face between 37 months and 46 months.
Zarsky’s daughter, Lauren Zarsky, reached a civil settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission to pay $19,440 in losses she avoided by selling the shares early and a civil penalty of $19,440 as well as $839 in interest. Her mother, Dorothy Zarsky, agreed to “disgorge her ill-gotten gains” of $22,600, pay a $22,600 civil penalty and interest of $975.