Rep. Chris Collins, the New York lawmaker facing insider trading charges, was once the No. 2 shareholder in an Australian firm called Innate Immunotherapeutics. According to the company’s most recent disclosure, he’s no longer even in the top 20 shareholders.
What’s unclear is what happened to his shares.
Under law, members of Congress are required to publicly disclose their stock trades within 30 days. Yet there is no record of Collins having sold the bulk of his shares.
The most recent stock sale Collins disclosed was one of Innate shares, on June 20. He reported that he had made between $15,000 and $50,000, which is as specific as he is required to be.
But Innate’s stock traded for about 28 cents per share on June 20. Even if Collins sold $50,000 worth of Innate stock, it would not have been nearly enough to move him off the company’s list of top 20 shareholders. He held nearly 3.8 million shares as of May, according to Innate; in order to fall off the list, he had to part ways with at least 3.5 million of them.
Lawmakers are not required to report the sale of stock if it amounts to less than $1,000, and they don’t have to disclose certain gifts. But it’s unclear whether either explains why the congressman is no longer among Innate’s top shareholders.
In a statement, a spokeswoman for Collins said the congressman had disclosed all of his sales of Innate stock and pointed to the June 20 document.
“Fake news strikes again,” she said.
Collins, a Republican who was an early and energetic advocate for President Trump, was indicted in August on charges that he leaked confidential information about a drug under development at Innate. In 2017, when Collins was a member of Innate’s board of directors, he got early word that the drug had failed and tipped off his son, who then sold shares and avoided $570,900 in losses when the public got word of the news, according to prosecutors.
Innate has since been renamed Amplia Therapeutics.
Collins, who denied the allegations, won a tight campaign in which the Innate saga — and its potential for a criminal conviction — was the dominant issue. His district, New York’s 27th, is heavily Republican and was not previously considered up for grabs, but Collins’ indictment tightened the polls. The congressman won his prior two re-elections by more than 40 percentage points.
Collins has said he will serve out his term despite the indictment. His criminal trial is scheduled for Feb. 3, 2020.
This story was updated with a comment from a spokeswoman for Collins.