Chris Collins, a former representative in Congress from New York, pleaded guilty in September to charges of insider trading, resigning his post while doing so.
On Monday, federal prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York released their sentencing memorandum, detailing how long they believe the former lawmaker should serve his sentence.
According to reporting from Axios, SDNY lawyers think that Collins should serve 58 months — just shy of five years — behind bars.
DOJ is seeking a prison sentence at the “top end” of the 46 to 57 month guideline range for former Rep. Chris Collins. https://t.co/aOiSE8WGlg
— Brad Heath (@bradheath) January 13, 2020
In drafting their recommendations, they noted that Collins, who initially pleaded not guilty when he was arrested in August 2018, continued to serve in office for more than a year afterward, and attempted to hide his crimes from investigators while doing so.
“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,” part of the memo reads.
Federal prosecutors in New York have asked a judge to sentence former Republican Rep. Chris Collins to the maximum of nearly five years in prison for his role in an insider trading scheme. https://t.co/rR98K7NCbf
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) January 13, 2020
Collins’s misdeeds came about when an Australian drug company he sits on the board of directors for sent him news about a product they created that failed clinical trials. Collins reportedly forwarded the information to his son, who then sold stock of the company the following day, before news of the trial’s failure came about.
Collins is a notable lawmaker in that he was the first House Republican member to endorse then-candidate for president Donald Trump. Collins made the endorsement after former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, whom Collins had first endorsed, exited the race, CNN reported at the time.
The former lawmaker from the state of New York touted Trump’s lack of political background as a main selling point for his candidacy.
“We need a chief executive, not a chief politician,” Collins said in February 2016, when he made the endorsement.
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