Jan 13, 2020

Prosecutors recommend almost 5 years in prison for former GOP Rep. Chris Collins

Chris Collins

Rep. Chris Collins. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

Federal prosecutors recommended Monday that former Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.) be sentenced to up to 57 months in prison for pleading guilty to insider trading last year.

Why it matters: Collins was the first congressman to endorse President Trump in 2016 and resigned in September after changing his not-guilty plea. Prosecutors argue that he should not receive leniency because he continued to serve in Congress while hiding his crimes.

Context: In August 2018, Collins was arrested in connection with an alleged insider trading scheme involving Innate Immunotherapeutics, an Australian drug company whose board he sat on for years.

  • Prosecutors allege that Collins received a tip about about a failed clinical trial involving the company's only product.
  • He then allegedly called his son Cameron, who sold off shares of Innate stock the next day.

What they're saying:

"In committing insider trading and later lying to federal agents to cover it up, and in continuing to actively serve in the House of Representatives during that time period, Collins came to embody the cynical idea that those in power who make the laws are not required to follow them. This surely was not lost on him, but it did not cause him to hesitate in making the choice to commit multiple crimes while holding one of the most visible and prestigious jobs in the United States."

Read the full memo.

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