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Australian firm at center of insider trading probe has ties to Georgia Republican 

U.S. Rep. Christopher Collins of New York was indicted on federal charges Wednesday connected to an alleged insider trading scheme involving an Australian biotech firm that also has ties to former Georgia lawmaker Tom Price. 

Collins was charged with passing inside information about the company, Innate Immunotherapeutics, to his son and another alleged co-conspirator to avoid nearly $800,000 in losses. Collins, a third-term GOP congressman, is expected to appear in federal court Wednesday.

Collins was a company director and the largest shareholder of the firm and he often encouraged friends and fellow legislators to invest in it. Among them was Price, who came under scrutiny for buying about 400,000 shares of the firm at a discounted rate. 

Testifying before a U.S. Senate panel, Price said the arrangement wasn’t a “sweetheart deal” and that he paid the same price as some other investors. The hearing took place as Price was being vetted to lead the Department of Health and Human Services.

Price isn’t named in the indictment and he’s not accused of any wrongdoing. A spokesman referred media outlets to his previous statement that “everything I did was ethical, above-board, legal and transparent.”

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Price represented a swath of north Atlanta’s suburbs for six terms in the U.S. House before President Donald Trump tapped him to join his Cabinet. He resigned after less than eight months, after wracking up at least $1 million in travel on private and military jets that drew bipartisan condemnation.

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