Republican Congressman Who Backed Trump Indicted On Securities Fraud Charges

New York Congressman Chris Collins, who was the first Congressman to endorse President Trump, has been indicted for what amounts to one of the dumber and most obvious cases of securities fraud ever seen.

Chris Collins, a Republican Congressman from New York who was the first Member of Congress to back Donald Trump’s bid for the Republican nomination for President, has been arrested and charged with wide-ranging securities fraud:

Representative Chris Collins, a New York Republican who was one of President Trump’s earliest and most vocal supporters, was charged with insider trading on Wednesday. He was accused of having sold his stock in an Australian pharmaceutical company before the results of one of its failed drug tests became public, federal prosecutors said.

The charges against Mr. Collins stem from his involvement with Innate Immunotherapeutics Limited, a drug maker based in Sydney, Australia, whose primary business was the research and development of a medication designed to treat a form of multiple sclerosis, according to an indictment.

Mr. Collins, 68, was attending the Congressional Picnic at the White House in June 2017 when he received a private email from the company’s chief executive that a test for a potentially lucrative experimental drug had failed, the indictment said. Fifteen minutes later, the congressman, who sat on the firm’s board of directors and was one of its largest shareholders, called his son, Cameron Collins, who sold his shares in the company, avoiding losses of more than $570,000, the indictment said. Mr. Collins did not sell his own shares, the indictment said.

“We will answer the charges filed against Congressman Collins in court and will mount a vigorous defense to clear his good name,” Mr. Collins’ lawyers, Jonathan Barr and Jonathan New, said in statement. “It is notable that even the government does not allege that Congressman Collins traded a single share” of the company’s stock.

According to a federal indictment, Innate Immunotherapeutics’ chief executive, Simon Wilkinson, sent the email to the company’s board of directors, including Mr. Collins, at 6:55 p.m. on June 22, 2017, explaining that the test for the drug, known in its trial stage as MIS416, had failed.

Mr. Collins, prosecutors say, was attending the Congressional Picnic at the White House at the time. Fifteen minutes later, the indictment said, he wrote back to Mr. Wilkinson, saying, “Wow. Makes no sense. How are these results even possible???”

Phone records included in the indictment show that Mr. Collins immediately called his son, missing him six times before they had a brief conversation. Prosecutors contend that it was during that conversation that Mr. Collins told his son about the failed drug test. The following morning, at 7:42 a.m., the indictment said, Cameron Collins placed an online order with his brokerage firm, selling more than 16,500 shares of Innate Immunotherapeutic stock.

Later that day, prosecutors said, Cameron Collins, 25, placed 17 more orders to sell the stock. Three days later, he placed an additional 36 sell orders. He also passed the tip on to others including his fiancée, who was not named in the indictment, and his fiancée’s father, Stephen Zarsky, 66, who was also charged.

On June 27, 2017, the day after Cameron Collins made his last trades selling Innate Immunotherapeutic stock, news of its failed drug test became public and the stock plummeted by more than 90 percent.

Prosecutors said that Representative Collins took steps to hide his involvement in the sale of the stock. For example, on June 28, 2017, one of his staff members issued a statement denying he had personally sold any shares and asserting his son had only sold shares after a halt on the trading of the stock had been lifted, a move that caused him “substantial financial loss.” Prosecutors said that the statement was “written in a manner designed to mislead the public.”

(emphasis mine)

Congressman Collins, who has been a Member of Congress since being elected to his current seat in 2012, was the first Member of Congress to endorse Donald Trump and has frequently appeared on cable news as an advocate for Trump both during the campaign and since he took office in 2017. As the highlighted portion quoted above notes, the allegations against him basically amount to the allegation that he received confidential information about the company on whose board he had served and that he passed this information along to his son, who then proceeded to sell all of his stock in the company prior to the time when the news in question became public and the stock plummeted in value. Based on the allegations, this seems like a clear case of insider trading in that Collins was in possession of information about a publicly traded company that he knew, or should know, would adversely impact its stock price and that he passed on that information to others who then acted on that information to their advantage. This is about as cut-and-dry a case of insider training as you can make out and, if true, would seem to make the outcome of the case inevitable.

Moreover, I tend to agree with one legal analyst on CNN who called it the dumbest insider trading scheme he’d ever seen:


For his part, Collins is vowing to fight the charges:

Certainly, Collins is to be considered innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, but the indictment certainly seems like an open and shut case of securities fraud and insider trading. As I noted above, he came into possession of confidential information and passed that information along to his son in violation of the law. At the very least, this seems like an open and shut case of conspiracy to commit securities fraud. As for the defense’s statement that Collins didn’t sell a single share of Innate stock on his own, that issue is addressed in the indictment. For one thing, the indictment notes that Collins was already under investigation by the House Ethics Committee in connection with his purchase of the stock and was well aware that selling at that point would have made his case far more serious. Additionally, unlike his son, Collins’s shares in the company were held through an Australian brokerage house and Australian authorities had already placed a hold on trading of Innate stock prior to the time Collins he received the news about the failure of the test of the new drug. Finally, the fact that Collins didn’t sell any of his own shares is irrelevant since the relevant laws also make it a crime to pass on insider information to others who ultimately do act on it. Based on this, Collins would seem to find himself in a very precarious position.

Here’s the indictment:

United States v. Collins Et Al by Doug Mataconis on Scribd

FILED UNDER: 2018 Election, Congress, US Politics, , , , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Michael Reynolds says:

    Once again I am left to bemoan the state of criminal tradecraft in the US government. Pitiful as to both PerSec and OpSec. Come on, grifters, con-men and frauds, try a little harder, huh? Show some growth, some professionalism.

  2. gVOR08 says:

    @Michael Reynolds: They’ve been getting away with it for years. A prosecution like this is quite rare. There’s really nothing to constrain their sloppiness unless, as with honor, there’s supposedly some sense of craftsmanship among thieves.

  3. MarkedMan says:

    In any group there is a bell curve distribution for intelligence, gullibility or any other characteristic. But, my god, the Republicans have been pushing that bell curve towards the negative side for decades…

  4. Kathy says:

    Makes sense he’d back the Cheeto. Kindred spirits and all that.

    He should hope he gave enough support for a pardon.

  5. Michael Reynolds says:

    At the moment I am plotting the theft of a Vermeer from the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. My protagonist, David Mitre, is infinitely more careful, obsessively aware of the need to avoid creating evidence. Mitre’s rule (he has many) is that you must always maintain professional standards even when you don’t think you’re being watched.

    From my personal life: soon after I jumped bail I found myself flat broke in Houston. I needed $50. I called my sister in California, and told her to wire money to Houston – but I never used the word Houston. I spelled it out using letters from events we had both shared. “Remember that place where we ate waffles? Okay, take the third letter. . .”

  6. MBunge says:

    I wonder if this case will mysteriously get far more media attention than the corruption trial of Democrat Bob Menendez?


  7. @MBunge:

    I don’t know what world you live in but the charges and the trial of Bob Menendez got plenty of coverage on CNN and other news networks. It was also heavily covered by the local media in the New York City area since the trial took place in Newark, New Jersey.

  8. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    I don’t know what world you live in

    It’s obviously not fact based.

  9. MarkedMan says:

    @Michael Reynolds: I appreciate your cleverness, but there simpler wasn’t much that Collins could have done in the way of “clever”. He learned vital insider information. (Lest anyone have any doubt about how big this info was, I have have watched more than one startup literally shut their doors after bad results from a clinical trial. Even mega companies like Pfizer can watch their stock take a 15-20% hit if the drug they’ve been touting for 5-7 years returns a negative.). The only thing he and his family could have done to avoid disaster was to sell the stock, which of course would require highly illegal and obvious insider trading. I bet the Feds could easily get a conviction even absent the emails and text messages, just by the fact he had walked out of meeting where the information was shared prior to public revelation and then sold his stock and every member of his family sold their stock.

    He’s dumb in two ways here. First, for thinking he wouldn’t get caught. But more importantly he seems to have been conned as an investor. Clinical trials are always risky, and clinical trials for drugs go bad much more often then people realize. Something that showed promise in a limited test with a dozen people more often than not goes south when n=1000. I wouldn’t be surprised to find that these Australians figured that if they could get enough gullible investors they could ride the gravy train for years. What credible drug company recruits a US Congressman as an investor? That, right there, would set off alarm bells. So they get this schmuck on board by treating him as a really smart and insightful guy, just the kind of guy that they have been looking for. For this kind of guy, they have these special stock offerings see? Only available to a chosen few at a special, special price. (I’m not speculating here. This is the second scandal with Collins and these Aussies. The first one, in 2017 (?) went down just as I described.) Then they probably went out and recruited other shady idiots with too much money. I’m sure they used a very professional presentation that allowed they will have no trouble getting FDA clearance because they are being advised by a sitting US Congressman, someone with seniority. They wouldn’t even have to give the ol’ wink-wink nudge-nudge, because these kinds of shady investors think they are quite the wheeler dealers to have come across a sure thing, sure because the FIX IS IN!!

    I’m not in the drug side of the Medical products business, but I’m familiar enough about how it works to know there is an infrastructure of knowledgable investors who can finance these things. There are maybe a half dozen exit points along the way. If the Aussies bypassed these guys and went looking for naive investors with no Pharma background, well, at the very least, it’s pretty questionable.

  10. MarkedMan says:

    The following is totally off topic, but I was looking for a Manafort thread to post this on and realized there was no active one. Do any of our lawyers have any speculation as to why Manaforts lawyers have spent three days harping on Gates marital infidelities?

  11. Gustopher says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Could you send money anonymously back then? With the current reporting laws, I’m pretty sure you can’t, and the entire Houston story sounds ridiculous.

    Would police actually bother tapping the phones for a minor bail jumper? Do they have the manpower for that? I’m pretty sure they were just waiting for you to get arrested for something else.

    I mean, better safe than sorry, and it all worked out, but stuff like that just seems amazingly suspicious. Weren’t you calling her from Houston, anyway?

    Nowadays, I could see the NSA monitoring all phone calls, running it through automated transcribing, matching against phrases associated with terrorists, and then the petty bail jumper accidentally references a code word used by Islamofascists while trying to get his sister to remember the place with great meatballs that starts with a U, and hilarity ensues as the Feds are now following a hapless bail jumper looking for the rest of his contacts in this terrorist plot.

  12. Pete S says:

    @MBunge: Why do your comments never even suggest the possibility that the person you are defending is innocent? Collins hasn’t been convicted of anything yet. That is a much stronger defense than a half-assed effort at redirection.

  13. Just Another Ex-Republican says:

    @Doug Mataconis: It is an article of faith amongst the far right that liberal mass media hides the truth and never reports anything bad about the left. Trump has even accused CNN of not reporting his rallies, *while pointing to the CNN reporter and live-conference feed AT the rally*. How his followers swallow this obvious BS is beyond me. I mean, it’s not even halfway decent whataboutism or trolling in this case.

  14. Michael Reynolds says:


    Would police actually bother tapping the phones for a minor bail jumper? Do they have the manpower for that?

    No, of course not. Obviously. But against that 1% chance you practice good tradecraft. It’s not just about self-preservation, it’s about taking pride in your work. But bear in mind that the 1% isn’t a scolding but potentially years in the joint. I’ve got less than a 1% chance of a car accident, but I still buckle up.

    BTW, the fact that a crime is obvious does not necessarily translate into conviction, not by a long shot. (See: OJ Simpson, Enron, various cop shootings, etc…) . Cops need evidence so you, a) avoid creating evidence and b) where it is not possible to avoid creating evidence, you break the chain in as many ways as possible. You need a bolt cutter? You don’t run down to your local Ace, you buy it in the next state along with other items which, taken together, form a plausible (cash) purchase. If you think to add a bit of a disguise, so much the better.

    Bear in mind that the smart crook wants to 1) avoid being caught, but just as importantly, 2) make a conviction time-consuming, costly and uncertain. You may fool a jury, but just as importantly you make it a tall hill for LE to climb, so they cut a deal rather than waste resources.

  15. gVOR08 says:


    Do any of our lawyers have any speculation as to why Manaforts lawyers have spent three days harping on Gates marital infidelities?

    IANAL but I’ll jump in anyway. It’s a document case, and their client is, to quote the jury foreman from The Producers, “Unbelievably guilty.” What else can they do? (I’m not part of the legal system or the media, I don’t have to pretend to assume innocence.)

    I’d also appreciate input from real lawyers. I’m more worried about what the judge is doing and whether he’ll do it to the defense.

  16. Gustopher says:

    @Michael Reynolds: I just think a man on a pay phone outside a diner, playing word games, is going to be more suspicious and more likely to get someone to call the cops. Odds are way lower, since you’re white, but all those tiny odds slowly add up.

    And, if you’re in Houston already, and calling from a pay phone (I believe all of this was before ubiquitous cell phones,
    although those have their own issues), you would be drawing attention to yourself to hide the one thing that anyone tapping your sister’s phone already knows — where the call is coming from.

    Now I am picturing you wandering from town to town in one outlandish disguise after another. A little Russian yenta in Kansas, depending on the likelihood of not running into anyone who speaks Russian. A Quebecois Fur Trapper in Brooklyn. Everything you can do to sever the links between one sighting and another.

  17. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Lock Her Up…
    Oh wait…

  18. Michael Reynolds says:

    I had reason to be very paranoid, I was held on $60 grand bail. In inflation-adjusted numbers that’s almost a quarter million. My cellmates were amazed, did not believe it, kept asking if I’d shot a judge or something.

    You want to consider that it was not primarily law enforcement I was worried might tap my sister’s landline, when I jumped the bail bondsman was on the hook for serious money. Bounty hunters don’t need no stinkin’ warrants. As much as I did not want to fly home in shackles seated beside a marshal, I wanted even less to take the trip in the trunk of a Dodge. Bounty hunter can tap my sister, but not me at an unknown location, and anything overheard (like I’d let that happen, please) would not lead to LE action, so, irrelevant.

    As for disguises does brown hair dye in a motel sink count?

    But we are getting way OT, mea culpa, and should probably desist before we grind Doug’s last nerve.

  19. MarkedMan says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Just by selling his own stock Collins violated the law. The Feds don’t have to show motive or anything, they just have to show that he was aware of the negative results. End of story. Once he had the information he was prohibited by law from selling any stock until the information was made public. So there really isn’t anything he can do with respect to that. The thing that he did to break the law (sell the stock) is all the proof needed. You could make the argument that his tipping off the family could have been better concealed but I suspect it doesn’t matter. Again, IANAL but I read the papers and have seen cases my whole life that were successfully prosecuted on as much or as little. I dunno. It would be interesting to hear from our lawyers. I could ask a relative who actually is an attorney at the SEC (and was involved in the ENRON prosecution) but with a case that is real life and if experience is any guide the most I’ll get out of her is silence. Or maybe: “Saturday’s Washington Post had an interesting analysis of that.” Although during ENRON and a couple of other big cases we did figure out that if she had been working beaucoup hours for months and then suddenly announce she was taking a sudden gold vacation, there would be a massive indictment within a week or two.

  20. Tyrell says:

    What is the difference between that and someone getting betting tips on a horse race?

  21. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    For those of you keeping score:
    -Campaign Manager is on trial
    -Deputy Campaign Manager plead guilty
    -National Security Advisor plead guilty
    -Foreign policy advisor plead guilty
    -Close ally in Congress arrested
    -HHS, EPA, VA Secretaries resigned in scandal
    Drain the swamp, indeed.

  22. Grumpy realist says:

    @Tyrell: horse winning is in the future. In this case, the negative results are in the past.

    TRY to keep up, hmmm?

  23. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Grumpy realist:
    In addition, horse tips are speculative about animals that cannot read the tote-board.
    This was factual info fed to people in position to directly profit.

  24. Gustopher says:

    I’m pretty sure that he was just phoning his son about Russian adoptions. People do that all the time, totally legal. and nothing came of it because he never adopted a Russian.

    Witch hunt.

  25. Gustopher says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    I had reason to be very paranoid, I was held on $60 grand bail. In inflation-adjusted numbers that’s almost a quarter million. My cellmates were amazed, did not believe it, kept asking if I’d shot a judge or something.

    To be fair to the judge who set your bail, you were in fact a flight risk.

    But we are getting way OT, mea culpa, and should probably desist before we grind Doug’s last nerve.

    I do wonder how much bail would be appropriate for a congress critter. He definitely travels a lot, but he’s not really a flight risk. Does anyone seriously expect a congressman to take off, dye his hair in a motel, and vanish into the less traceable parts of society? Perhaps showing up briefly on the floor of congress to throw off his elaborate disguise and vote, before vanishing in a puff of smoke?

    (We might end up with a better congressman at the end of it)

    All too often, bail is set inordinately high as a form of punishment before conviction, to wipe out the accused’s savings so they cannot afford to defend themselves.

  26. MarkedMan says:

    On another Republican Sleaze / Trump Trash note, that vicious little weasel Rand Paul hand carried a letter from Trump to Putin. Good time to jump on the Trump Train Pauley!

  27. MarkedMan says:

    @MarkedMan: Whoa! It gets even better! After proudly announcing to the world that he hand delivered Trump’s very important letter personally to Putin, the White House threw him under the bus! “What are you talking about?”, they said in a press release, “You asked us for a letter of introduction!” Hope you enjoyed your ride on the Trump Train, Pauley boy!

  28. An Interested Party says:

    Who could have guessed that “draining the swamp” meant turning it into a Superfund cleanup site? Who’s next in Trump’s orbit to be revealed as a total sleazebag…

  29. Michael Reynolds says:

    Sure, it’s against the law, so was what Bob Menendez did, and yet. . . Were I not innumerate I might take a stab at a representation of the effects of money. Poor defendants have zero power and always lose, middle class defendants can put up a fight, and wealthy defendants tend to walk away. The law is the law. . . until you pony up that first fat retainer for Dewy, Cheatham and Howe.

  30. Michael Reynolds says:

    The justice system – like pretty much every system – is rigged in favor of the well off. How do you think I got off? A pro-Trump Congresscreature will have access to rich friends, though his choice of representation may be limited a bit by ETTD fears.

  31. MarkedMan says:

    @Michael Reynolds: You may be right, but I think this is so cut and dried he won’t be able to skate even with the best lawyers. I will bet you that, lacking a Trump pardon, he will be convicted. If I lose I’ll buy you the scotch of your choice at the Birds of a Feather Whiskey Bar in Baltimore the next time you are in the area.

    Just to be clear, I’m betting he will be convicted on insider trading, which as far as I know only has civil penalties. I’m pretty sure Martha Stewart got sent up for lying under oath during her investigation.

  32. Gustopher says:

    @An Interested Party: once you drain all that nice, clean water from the swamp, what do you think is left? Scum and vermin.

  33. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @MarkedMan: Did Gates cut a deal to testify, or is he being compelled to testify because he’s not a material participant in the issue at trial? From what little I read (National Law Journal update, but IANAL) they’re interested in questioning his “truthiness.”

  34. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Tyrell: If the race is fixed, nothing. But the stock market has been compared to a horse race with the exception that you get to change your bet as the race progresses. I believe Andrew Tobias was the first financial writer that I read that from.

    (I promise I will not feed the troll again this thread.)

  35. SenyorDave says:

    @MarkedMan: I found an old Forbes magazine article on insider trading. I hope some of the lawyers here can weigh in because I’m not sure whether I’m interpreting this article correctly, but it sounds like insider trading can be criminally prosecuted From the article:
    On why some cases go criminal, Bachner believes that the defendant’s role plays a big part. “If the person targeted for insider trading [tips] is a lawyer or some fiduciary that had an obligation to keep information confidential, then criminal authorities will want to send a message to the profession that that type of behavior will not be tolerated,” Bachner said.
    It seems to me that sending a message to a powerful Congressman by prosecuting criminally would be in line with this view.

  36. Bob@Youngstown says:

    @SenyorDave:As an officer of Innate, Collins had an fiduciary obligation to keep information confidential.
    Collins is in a world of hurt.

  37. MarkedMan says:

    @SenyorDave: My understanding is that the SEC can only prosecute civil cases. In fact, I’m certain of this. But they do have the option of referring the case to a Federal AG for possible criminal charges.

  38. MarkedMan says:

    I just want to expand on something I wrote above about how Collins, in addition to being a crook, may have been conned himself.

    In a way, drug development is like gold mining or oil drilling. In those businesses you don’t gamble everything on one shaft or one well. There are investment entities that distribute risk across multiple ventures. In the drug development business, a company with one drug such as this would typically be backed in various funding rounds by one or more entities. Simplifying things quite a bit: at each round, new investors come in and fund the next round which roughly costs an order of magnitude more than the previous one. The current investors may be able to cash out at that point (having made it to the next round the company is revalued based on its success to date, so the original investment is now worth more to the new investors). If it fails at any point (Can’t get IP, drug is too toxic in lab tests, drug is not promising in the animal models, drug is not promising in human safety and dosing level tests, drug fails human clinical trials). Everyone packs up an goes home and the investors lose their money.

    The important thing here is that when these traditional investors show up, they conduct rigorous due diligence. They hire experts in the disease state, people who know the reimbursement structure for similar drugs, and most importantly, they dive deep into the research results. Were the lab tests conducted by reputable firms? Do we agree that the results mean what is claimed? How many animals were dropped from the animal testing? Why? Is the animal model legitimate? (If people were really like mice we would have cured all diseases decades ago…) In other words, deep and knowledgable scrutiny.

    But that’s not what seems to have happened here. It seems they made it all the way to human trials with what are essentially amateur investors still holding onto major equity (Collins alone owned 17%). And the numbers I’ve seen thrown around for later round funding don’t seem to add up. Human clinical trials for a drug typically cost tens or hundreds of millions of dollars. (There are ways to reduce this cost such as doing the trials in poorly regulated countries but the big drug companies are very reluctant to trust those and would want to re-run in the US or Europe before buying the company.) Yet Tom Price and others seem to have invested less than $100K in late stage funding and gotten non-trivial equity.

    Now, as I’ve said before, I know the device side of the medical industry not the Pharma. But the community overlaps and I’m not completely ignorant. The way this company has been funded seems very odd, and not in a way that would benefit the investors.

    Here’s some additional info from Talking Points Memo

    Rep. Collins owned a big chunk of this company – 17%. His investment goes back years. He got others in the Buffalo area (his district) to invest, including members of his family. But the notable fact that is that at least five other members of Congress also invested, as did former member of Congress – and one time HHS Secretary – Tom Price. Those members are Reps. Lamborn, Mullin, Culberson, Conaway and Long.

    Price bought his first $10,000 of stock in Innate Immunotherapeutics in 2015. He then bought another $84,000 in 2016. These were all private placements at under market price.

    Price’s purchases were also tied to efforts to lobby the Australian government. Innate is an Australian company. When he was compelled to sell his Innate stock after being confirmed as HHS Secretary he netted a profit of at least $150,000.

    The five other members of Congress appear to have purchased Innate at market rates. But they all bought in late January 2017, as Price’s investment was first courting controversy and as he was moving toward confirmation to become HHS Secretary. (You can see details of dates and amounts here.)

  39. MarkedMan says:

    @MarkedMan: I have an incorrect piece of information in the above. Although some press reports have described the clinical trial as a “late stage clinical trial” it seems they mean it simply in the sense that it is a human trial, which typically takes 3-7 years to reach. But while a “late stage” trial typically involves hundreds or even thousands of patients, the Innate Immunotherapeutics trial involved a dozen or less. Although this sounds trivial, it actually takes tens of millions of dollars to get there, and millions more to run the tests. But it is conceivable that investors like Collins could have funded the company to this point. It would be a huge (and foolish) gamble, but it is not impossible.

  40. dmichael says:

    @MarkedMan: I am not sure it was “three days” but it’s all the defendant has. Their theory is that Gates did it, not Manafort. Unfortunately for him, there is substantial evidence that Manafort directed the cooking of the books and only some of that evidence came from Gates. The defendant has to convince the jury that Gates is a bad person and therefore can’t be believed. The defendant’s lawyers also want to “beat up” the guy that betrayed their client and do it in front of their client.

  41. MarkedMan says:

    I’m gonna shoe horn something in here since it concerns using corporate money on elected officials. During the last election there was endless hay made about how Clinton had accepted money to talk in front of business groups. The horrors! I pointed out that this was absolutely the norm and conference organizers were just booking names, and not expecting influence. I mentioned that I had been at two keynotes for trade conferences, one with George HW Bush and one with Bill Clinton, and nobody was expecting them to do anything other than provide the highest tier name and thereby signal that this was a “must attend/exhibit/write about” type of event. Lest anyone think this was the old days, lo and behold, who pops up in my inbox as keynote for this years Medtech Conference? Our old friend George W. Bush.

  42. Tyrell says:

    I am certainly opposed to white collar crime. It seems the only time anything is done about it is when it involves some celebrity, rich person, or politicians. I know an older couple who recently were the victims of a scam. The police brushed it off. The bank did not seem to care (they were lax and money was lost). The average working people are hung out to dry when it comes to white collar crime hitting them. These federal judges and investigators need to help them out instead of just some rich people.
    Look at the recent carnage in Chicago: at least fifty shot and ten killed in one weekend from gang violence. People there say it is worse than when Al Capone was in town. Director Mueller should do some real crime fighting – get his team together and head up there to hit the streets and round up the gangs, hoodlums, and other criminals. These Federal prosecutors and judges need to get out there too. Give the people their neighborhoods back.