The SEC announced settlements with former U.S. Rep. Christopher Collins, his son Cameron Collins, and Stephen Zarsky, all of whom were charged with insider trading and pleaded guilty to related criminal charges. The settlements, which are subject to court approval, bar Christopher Collins from serving as an officer or director of a public company and require Cameron Collins and Stephen Zarsky to disgorge the losses they avoided as a result of their insider trading.
According to the SEC’s complaint, Christopher Collins tipped his son, who then tipped others to non-public negative trial results for a multiple sclerosis drug developed by Australian biotech company Innate Immunotherapeutics Ltd. The complaint alleged that Christopher Collins, then an independent director on Innate’s board, learned of the results from Innate’s CEO and then spoke to his son Cameron Collins, who traded on the information and tipped others, including his then-girlfriend’s father, Stephen Zarsky. Cameron Collins and Stephen Zarsky together sold nearly 1.7 million Innate shares in advance of Innate’s public announcement of the negative results, avoiding combined losses of more than $700,000.
Mark Astarita is a nationally recognized securities attorney, who represents investors, financial professionals and firms in securities litigation, arbitration and regulatory matters, including SEC and FINRA investigations and enforcement proceedings.
He is a partner in the national securities law firm Sallah Astarita & Cox, LLC, and the founder of The Securities Law Home Page - SECLaw.com, which was one of the first legal topic sites on the Internet. It went online in 1995 and is updated daily with news, commentary and securities law related links.