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A NY congressman and his son were indicted for insider trading related to the shares of an Australian biotechnology firm, federal prosecutors in Manhattan said on Wednesday.

Cameron Collins and Stephen Zarsky, 66, are also accused of lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Around 6:55 p.m. that evening, while at the picnic, Collins received an email from the CEO of Innate informing the baord of directors that the drug had failed to pass its trials and could not be sold to the public.

The company's stock price fell more than 90 percent after results of the drug trial were released publicly, the documents state. Cameron Collins in turn told his fiancée, her parents and a friend, and Stephen Zarsky went on to tip his brother, his sister and a friend, the indictment said.

Cameron Collins and seven others - including his fiancee's father, Stephen Zarsky, who was also charged in the case - avoided losses of about $768,000 by selling off their stock, according to prosecutors.

Attorneys for Mr Collins said in a statement that they will "mount a vigorous defence to clear his good name".

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Prosecutors say the charges relate to a scheme to gain insider information about a biotechnology company headquartered in Sydney, Australia, with offices in Auckland, New Zealand.

Attorneys representing Collins said in response to the indictment that they are confident the congressmen will be "completely vindicated and exonerated", NBC producer Alex Moe reported.

Collins, who was first elected in 2012, threw his support behind Trump in February 2016, becoming the first Congressional Republican to endorse the future president. "They could only sell those shares on the initial tip of inside information by Congressman Collins". "Makes no sense. How are these results even possible???"

Neither the Speaker, nor House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, called for Collins to resign. In addition, the watchdog group alleged Collins used his office to benefit the company by mentioning certain drugs at committee hearings and pushing Innate drugs to National Institute of Health officials. "The charges today demonstrate once again that no matter what the crime and no matter who committed it, we stand committed in the pursuit of justice without fear or favor".

No allegations of misconduct have been leveled against him or Conaway, a former chairman of the House Ethics Committee.

Collins bought another $1 million in Innate stock four months before that bill was signed into law, congressional financial disclosure records showed. When the House Ethics Committee began investigating the stock trades a year ago, his spokeswoman called it a "partisan witch hunt".


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