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Collins, a congressman representing New York's 27th District - which includes parts of Buffalo and Rochester - convinced his chief of staff and several colleagues in the House to buy into Innate Immunotherapeutics, before the company's stock crashed after its only drug failed a clinical trial. On the next trading day, the company's stock plunged 92 percent.

Chris Collins, his son and Zansky avoided $768,000 in losses, according to the indictment.

Collins was charged with securities fraud, wire fraud and making false statements along with his son, Cameron Collins, and Stephen Zarsky, the father of his son's fiancée.

A USA congressman has been accused of using inside information to make illicit stock trades.

Chris Collins' lawyers responded swiftly, insisting he will be "completely vindicated".

Collins, who represents Buffalo's suburbs and counties in upstate NY, was the first House Republican to openly support Trump's bid for the party's nomination in the 2016 race, and he has remained a loyalist to the president.

"Access to this kind of information carries with it significant responsibility, especially those in society who hold a position of trust", said William Sweeney, assistant director of the FBI New York field office.

Federal law enforcement officials on Wednesday said Rep.

Price, who bought about 400,000 shares of the stock, said he'd learned of the firm through Collins but testified that the price he received was available to any investor.

In 2017, Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.), called for an investigation, citing Collins' cozy relationship with the biotech drug company after its value dropped.

"Congressman Collins - who by virtue of his office helps to write the laws of our nation - acted as if the law didn't apply to him", said Geoff Berman, U.S attorney for the Southern District of NY, at a press conference.

"The Congressman did not trade his shares, because of restrictions involving Innate shares in Australia, but he "instead tipped" his son, who quickly moved the next morning 'to sell approximately 16,508 shares of Innate".

Collins was one of President Donald Trump's earliest supporters and acted as the congressional liaison for Trump's 2016 campaign. "How are these results even possible?"

In a report dated October 12, 2017, the OCE recommended that the Committee on Ethics of the United States House of Representatives "further review the above allegation because there is a substantial reason to believe that Representative Collins took official actions or requested official actions that would assist a single entity in which he had a significant financial interest, in violation of House rules and standards of conduct".