Chris Collins

The Big Money 20 are incumbents who represent the worst of Washington’s rigged system. They do the bidding of special interests like drug companies, Big Oil, Wall Street, and others with deep pockets while also voting to stack the deck in their favor – at the expense of the American people.

Chris Collins Is Facing Up To 150 Years In Prison For Insider Trading And Corruption

  • In August 2018, Collins was arrested and charged with 13 counts of securities fraud, wire fraud, and making false statements and could face up to 150 in prison if convicted on all counts.
  • Collins and his son owned approximately one-fifth of an Australian pharmaceutical company called Innate Immunotherapeutics, and had convinced his family members, his chief of staff, and campaign donors to invest as well, making up approximately 30% of Innate’s total shareholders. He even convinced five other GOP lawmakers to invest — all while pushing legislation aimed at helping the company succeed.
  • Innate suffered a huge setback when its one and only drug failed in an Australian clinical trial. As a board member, Collins was informed about the trial failure — and then engaged in a huge and illegal breach of confidentiality by tipping off his son almost immediately, who subsequently tipped off several other investors.
  • Collins’ son sold off approximately 1.4 million shares of Innate stock and him and several others avoided losses of approximately $768,000 by selling off their stock.
  • When Collins was questioned by the FBI, he lied to federal agents to cover up his crimes and told them that he never shared any information with his son, a claim that was quickly disproven.

Collins Has Always Used His Office To Help Line His Pockets With Big Pharma Money

  • Even before his arrest, Collins used his political career to prop up his Big Pharma special interests and donors. A month before being arrested, Collins introduced a bill that would remove infusion drugs, the kind that Innate Immunotherapeutics would likely make, from the 340B program which requires pharmaceutical companies to sell their drugs to poorer hospitals at a discount. This bill would have saved Innate and other big pharma companies millions of dollars each year.
  • He also violated House ethics rules by encouraging other lawmakers to invest in the company and asking a scientist at the National Institute of Heath to help Innate prepare for an upcoming clinical trial.
  • After he bought millions of dollars in Innate stock, Collins wrote language for the 21st Century Cures Act that would help expedite the FDA’s approval process for drugs just like the one Innate was developing.
  • Collins was on the board of biotech company ZeptoMetrix and did not disclose his relationship to the company, even though he was dealing with issues in Congress that would affect ZeptoMetrix. He would even ask detailed questions about the development of a test for the Zika Virus, leaving out the fact that ZeptoMetrix was selling the virus to companies trying to develop the test.
  • In fact, the very first bill Collins introduced in Congress would have removed Obamacare penalties on businesses like ZeptoMetrix and would have also helped Chembio Diagnostic Systems: a medical device company that Collin also owned approximately $1 million in.

Collins Admitted That He Sold Out New York To His Big Special Interest Donors By Supporting The Republican Tax Bill

  • In November 2017, Collins told a reporter from The Hill that rich mega-donor backers were calling him in a frenzy about the GOP tax bill saying “get it done or don’t ever call me again.”
  • Collins sided with those big donors and voted for the Republican tax plan, which slashed taxes for corporations while raising taxes on middle class families, and adding $1.9 trillion to the federal deficit. To pay for these big tax cuts for corporations and the 1%, Congress will likely have to make big cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.
  • Since 2011, Collins has received over $900,000 in corporate PAC money, so it’s no surprise that Collins voted for a bill that would help the uber wealthy at the expense of New York families: he needs his wealthy donors to keep funding his political career.
  • In fact, in the first quarter of 2019 Collins did not receive a single campaign contribution from an individual donor — only from PACs and another Republican’s campaign committee.

For the full list of Big Money 20 targets, click here.