Despite laws against insider trading, there is still quite a bit of it going on in congress. There is no doubt that insider trading is unethical and illegal. That, however, did not stop lawmaker and member of the House of Representatives Chris Collins (R-NY) from seeking investors among his colleagues.
Chris Collins had reportedly sold stocks of his company, Innate Immunotherapeutics to representatives Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.), Billy Long (R-Mo.), Mike Conaway (R-Texas), Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) and Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price. Price sold his shares of Collins’ company early this year and made a $156,000 on his $94,000 investment. Innate Immunotherapeutics’ stock plummeted today after reports that their multiple sclerosis drug failed pharmaceutical trials. The sharp drop cost Collins an estimated 17 million dollars. Innate Immunotherapeutics chief executive officer, Simon Wilkinson said this:
‘These results are a shock and definitely not what we were expecting based on our previous clinical experience with MIS416 and the reporting of treatment benefits we have received from many compassionate use patients over an extensive eight-year period. These data will be as distressing to them as they will be for all the stakeholders who were relying on the outcome of this study.’
Chris Collins said this earlier this year of his company’s achievements:
‘What we’ve done and what we are doing is life changing and life-saving for potentially millions. I’m so proud of what this company is doing and without me, it wouldn’t exist. When they write my epitaph, it’s going to say Innate Immunotherapeutics, saving millions of lives. It’s not going to be member of Congress.’
Collins has changed his tune considerably since Innate Immunotherapeutics’ stock plummeted. Collins said this today:
‘Sophisticated investors know there’s a risk and as you now know that there was never any inside information that would indicate otherwise. It may be unlikely that the group could continue as a going concern. In such unfortunate circumstances the directors would most likely need to wind up the group’s operations in an orderly and timely fashion.’
The Office of Congressional Ethics is currently investigating Collins and his position as an investor within Innate Immunotherapeutics. The Office of Congressional Ethics is trying to determine what impact Collins had on investments. The outcome of the investigation into Collins remains to be seen.
Here is a video with information about Chris Collin’s trading in congress:
Featured Image via Getty/Bill Clark