A member of congress may have broken the law.
That’s not unusual.
In this case, though, he got caught.
And not just caught – but indicted. And arrested.
That is unusual.
Specifically, meet Republican Chris Collins, representing the 27th District of New York.
As usual, he’s a pale male in a gray suit – as are so many of our congress members.
As usual, he denied the charges.
As usual, his attorney says Collins will be “completely vindicated and exonerated,” which mean the same thing. Maybe the attorney is paid by the word instead of by the hour?
Not as usual: On August 8 Collins was actually arrested by the FBI on charges lodged by the Justice Department.
Not as usual: There appears to be video of Collins on the phone with his son Cameron committing the crime while at a picnic on the White House lawn in June 2017. (Nice touch, Chris. Couldn’t you have excused yourself and hidden in the bushes to make your call?)
Not as usual: There’s no sex scandal element in this story.
Not yet, anyway.
I never get tired of writing about politicians who get caught.
And I never – unfortunately – run out of politicians to write about.
In Collins’ case, on August 8 federal prosecutors arrested him on accusations that he took part in insider trading. He has ties – ties, hell, he’s the largest, or second-largest (depending on who you’re reading) shareholder – in Innate Immunotherapeutics, an Australian biotech firm.
In June 2017 Collins was emailed by the head of Innate who advised him that a drug had failed an FDA test, which was going to cause the stock to tank. Which, in fact, in did – the share price crashed by 92 percent.
But before that happened, Collins, it’s alleged, called his son Cameron, also a major shareholder, telling him to “Sell! Sell!” or more likely, “Sell that @#$%&! Innate stock!”
Then Cameron, obviously a chip off the old block, passed the information along to another shareholder, Stephen Zarsky, his fiancée’s father.
Collins, his son, and Zarsky have been charged with 13 counts of securities fraud, wire fraud and false statements. Collins hasn’t been charged with doing the trading himself – he’ll let Cameron take the fall for that.
These activities allowed the three men, prosecutors allege, to avoid more than $768,000 in losses they would have incurred if they had traded the stock after the drug trial results became public. All three then lied about their actions to federal agents, according to the indictment.
Clearly a misuse and abuse of Collins’ power, position and connections.
Well, as long as we’re handing down indictments, could I suggest one for Collins’ misuse and abuse of the letter “C”?
Collins’ full name is Christopher Carl Collins.
His son and fellow indictee is Cameron Christopher Collins.
Then there’s daughter Caitlin Christine Collins.
And daughter Carly Collins Coleman, who had no choice but to marry a guy whose last name begins with “C.”
C what I mean?
Collins is up for re-election this November, and here’s hoping the voters give him a “C” – or worse.
Then he’ll be free to relocate.
Perhaps Christopher Carl Collins can go to the CCC:
California Correctional Center.
Christopher Carl Collins;
No mug shot was available
so I faked this one.