Judge: Congressman Chris Collins does not have to appear in court

I-Team: Collins trying to avoid next court date
Posted at 12:14 PM, Oct 04, 2018

A judge has ruled in favor of Congressman Chris Collins. 

Collins will not have to appear in a federal court hearing on October 11 in New York City.

In a letter, submitted to the court by his attorney, counsel writes, "Rep. Collins will be in-District in the Buffalo area on the date of the status conference, as October is a District Work Month for Congress."

Collins wants only his attorney to be in court for the 'status conference.'  His attorney says this is not a hearing and there are "no presently-pending motions."

Lawyers requested the same for his son Cameron and the father of Cameron Collins' fiancee -- who are all charged with insider trading.  Each has each pleaded not guilty.

An August complaint, filed in the United States District Court, Southern District of New York by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission accuses Cameron Collins of selling large amounts of stock in Innate Immunotherapeutics, Ltd. before relevant information about a clinical trial was made public. Chris Collins is accused of giving his son the information.

The complaint indicates on June 22, 2017, Chris Collins, a member of Innate's board of directors, received an email from the company's CEO. The email was sent to all board members. It detailed "extremely bad news" about a clinical trial for a drug called MIS416, a multiple sclerosis drug.

15 seconds after receiving the email, the complaint says Collins called his son Cameron. They spoke for six minutes. In the next two trading days, Friday, 6/23 and Monday, 6/26, Cameron Collins sold nearly 1.4 million shares of Innate.

Information on the clinical trial was not made public by Innate until Monday evening. Before the information was made public, court documents indicate Cameron Collins told the following people about the trial results:

  • his girlfriend
  • Stephen Zarsky, also charged, father of Cameron's girlfriend
  • his friend

Stephen Zarsky is accused of delivering the information to his brother and his friend before the information was made public.

According to the court filing, Cameron Collins, Stephen Zarsky, and the above family and friends placed orders to sell Innate stock before the trial results were made public on the evening of June 26, 2017.

Collins said he would not seek re-election for the 27th Congressional District seat, though he has since changed his mind.  He is running against Democrat Nate McMurray.

Have a news tip, question or comment?


Take WKBW Everywhere, on all your devices.  Download below!

Phone or Tablet: Apple, Android
Set-top Device: Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV
Amazon Alexa

Personalize your news, get the latest 7 First Alert Forecast, and watch 7 Eyewitness News video wherever, whenever.

Learn more here about what 7 Eyewitness News provides on all these devices.