Sunday, 09 August, 2020


Ex-US Rep. Collins gets over two years in insider trading case

Congressman Stock Indictment Ex-US Rep. Collins gets over two years in insider trading case
Bennie Garza | 18 January, 2020, 23:07

A federal judge sentenced the former Rep. Chris Collins of NY up to 26 months in prison for insider trading.

The 69-year-old was convicted of trading on insider information while a board member and stakeholder of an Australian biotech firm. At that time, Innate had not publicly released the results and Collins, using his insider knowledge, called his son, Cameron, to alert him of the confidential news so Cameron and others close to the family could unload their shares of Innate to avoid enormous losses.

Cameron Collins and Zarsky were also charged and both plead guilty to charges in October.

A day before pleading guilty previous year, he resigned his seat in the U.S. House of Representatives representing New York's 27th District.

Cameron Collins tipped off three others, including his fiancee's father Stephen Zarsky, and they avoided approximately $US186,620 ($A271,321) in losses.

"This is a dismal and disastrous day for Chris and his family", barrier lawyer Jonathan Barr said.

U.S. District Judge Vernon Broderick agreed and told Collins he "had a duty and you betrayed that duty".

"I can not face my constituents", Collins said.

Collins, who was one of President Donald Trump's earliest supporters in Congress, initially pleaded not guilty after he was arrested in August 2018.

One minute later he called his son, Cameron Collins, they traded six missed calls between 7.11pm and 7.15 pm and at 7.16 pm they spoke for more than six minutes. Though he proclaimed his innocence and tried to cast reports on the case as "fake news", Collins only narrowly won reelection against Democrat Nate McMurray.

Last September he announced he was resigning from the House of Representatives, and the following month changed his plea to guilty.

"Lawmakers bear the profound privilege and responsibility of writing and passing laws, but equally as important, the absolute obligation of following them", Geoffrey Berman, the Manhattan U.S. attorney, said in a statement. The examiner noted there was a 10-month hole between his first wrongdoing when he called his child and the second when he misled the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which portrayed as Collins "multiplying down". "Collins' hubris is a clear reminder that New Yorkers can and should ask more of their elected officials and that no legislature is above the law, no matter how powerful it is".

"I climbed out of it because of her", he said of his wife.

Collins was known for spruiking in the halls and hallways of Congress Innate's great potential. Federal prosecutors on Monday recommended that Collins be sentenced to almost five years in prison.

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