Rep. Chris Collins Arrested by Federal Bureau of Investigation for Securities Fraud

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The advocacy group Public Citizen filed a request for an investigation of Collins' stock dealings with the Office of Congressional Ethics and the Securities and Exchange Commission in January of 2017.

The House Ethics Committee last October disclosed that it was investigating Collins for potentially violating federal law and House rules regarding insider trading.

A NY congressman and his son were indicted for insider trading in the shares of am Australian biotechnology startup, Innate Immunotherapeutics Ltd., federal prosecutors in Manhattan said on Wednesday. Price and Collins purchased almost $1 million in discounted stock in the company.

The charges were announced and the indictment unsealed in New York City on Wednesday.

Collins, who was the first sitting member of Congress to endorse Donald Trump's presidential bid, surrendered Wednesday morning at his attorney's office in Manhattan, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Reps. John Culberson of Houston and Mike Conaway of Midland had also bought shares in the firm, though they apparently didn't dump shares shortly before the price crashed - unlike Collins' son, whose well-timed sale is at the heart of the insider trading case.

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CNBC quotes the Justice Department as saying the indictment is tied to "securities of Innate Immunotherapeutics.an Australian biotechnology company on whose board of directors Christopher Collins served".

Collins' lawyers noted in a statement that the government has not said the congressman traded any shares of the stock. They sold their stocks in the company before the public announcement, which caused the company's stock prices to drop by 92 percent.

He was one of the first members of Congress to officially endorse Donald Trump for president.

Attorneys for Chris Collins released a statement Wednesday morning, noting that the congressman would say more on the issue later in the day.

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