Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., faces an investigation from the independent Office of Congressional Ethics for his part in attracting investors to an Australian biotech company.
Collins is Innate Immunotherapuetics's largest shareholding, his stakes worth between $5 and $25 million, and boasted earlier this year about "how many millionaires I've made in Buffalo the past few months," according to The Buffalo News.
Anonymous sources told Buffalo News that investigators have interviewed several investors in the Buffalo area about Collin's role in persuading them to buy the company's stock. The ethics office reportedly received several complains about the congressman's involvement in legislation that Innate may benefit from. In doing so, Collins may have violated a law preventing federal legislators from profiting off of insider information when investing.
Advocacy group Public Citizen called for an investigation into Collins and Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., "for possible violations of insider trading and conflicts of interest laws and regulations," in a letter to the Office for Congressional Ethics.
"These patterns of extensive trading activity in businesses and industries that Reps. Price and Collins oversee in their official capacity, and the beneficial timing of these trades, raise legitimate questions concerning both potential insider trading and conflicts of interest," Public Citizen wrote.
"Despite the continued partisan attacks insinuating otherwise, Congressman Collins has followed all ethical guidelines related to his personal finances during his time in the House and will continue to do so," Michael Kracker, Collins' spokesman, told Buffalo News in a recent statement.
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