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Chris Collins, an HHS graduate in Congress, charged with insider trading

Chris Collins, a 1968 graduate of Hendersonville High School, was elected to Congress in 2012. Chris Collins, a 1968 graduate of Hendersonville High School, was elected to Congress in 2012.

U.S. Rep. Chris Collins, a 1968 graduate of Hendersonville High School and 2013 HHS Hall of Fame inductee, was indicted on Wednesday on insider trading charges rising from the sale of pharmaceutical stock before the product's failed drug test became public, multiple news outlets reported. Here's the New York Times story.

The New York Times reports that charges against Collins stem from his involvement with Innate Immunotherapeutics Limited, a drug maker based in Sydney, Australia, whose primary business was the research and development of a medication designed to treat a form of multiple sclerosis, according to an indictment.

The Times reports that Collins was attending the Congressional Picnic at the White House in June 2017 when he received a private email from the company’s chief executive that a test for an experimental drug had failed, the indictment said. Fifteen minutes later, the congressman, who sat on the firm’s board of directors and was one of its largest shareholders, called his son, Cameron Collins, who sold their shares in the company, avoiding losses of more than $570,000, the indictment said.

“We will answer the charges filed against Congressman Collins in court and will mount a vigorous defense to clear his good name,” Collins’ lawyers said in statement. “It is notable that even the government does not allege that Congressman Collins traded a single share” of the company’s stock.

Born in Schenectady, New York, in 1950, Collins came to Hendersonville with his family when his father was transferred to General Electric's East Flat Rock plant.

After graduating from HHS, he earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from North Carolina State University. He earned an MBA from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1975, according to Wikipedia. Collins made his money buying bankrupt and troubled companies.

County executive of Erie County, New York from 2007 to 2011, Collins, 68, won his congressional seat representing a Buffalo-area district in 2013. He was one of the first sitting congressman to endorse Donald Trump.