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Prosecutors: Chris Collins 'acted as if the law didn't apply to him'

Rep. Chris Collins "acted as if the law didn't apply to him," federal prosecutors said Wednesday outlining a criminal case brought against the Clarence Republican.

Collins has been charged with insider trading and lying to the FBI, prosecutors said.

“These charges are a reminder that this is a nation of laws and that everybody stands equal before the bar of justice," Geoffrey S. Berman, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said during a news conference in Manhattan.

Collins had information about the failure of a drug being produced by Innate Immunotherapeutics, information he was prohibited from sharing and which was not available to the public.

"But he didn't keep it secret," Berman told reporters. "Instead, it is alleged, he decided to commit a crime."

Collins is accused of tipping off his son, who continued to share the information with others, all of whom allegedly were able to sell shares in the company before the information became public and the company's stock prices tumbled, according to authorities.

Collins, whose job is to help write federal laws, "acted as if the law didn't apply to him," Berman said.

When asked if any of the co-conspirators were cooperating with authorities, Berman declined comment.

Officials from the Securities and Exchange Commission also outlined civil charges against Collins and others tied to the criminal case for insider trading.

Chris Collins, two others indicted on insider trading charges

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