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Former Congressman Collins to be sentenced Friday

Berkeley Brean
Updated: January 17, 2020 06:14 AM
Created: January 16, 2020 03:51 PM

NEW YORK, N.Y. (WHEC) — Friday afternoon, former Congressman Chris Collins will be sentenced in New York City for felony insider trading and lying to the FBI. 

In August 2018, Collins was arraigned on a federal indictment.

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At the time, he was accused of sharing inside information to his family, specifically his son, Cameron Collins, so he and others could unload their shares in a drug company called Innate before the stock went down 92%.

Collins was prohibited from selling his shares in the company. By selling their shares, court filings say Cameron Collins and other saved hundreds of thousands of dollars. 

When he won re-election three months later, I asked Chris Collins what he was thinking when he was walking through a crush of photographers and reporters outside federal court the day he was arraigned.

"Shock. Asking myself what am I doing here?" Collins said in November 2018. "I still ask myself sometimes."

On Sept. 30, 2019 Collins resigned from Congress. On Oct. 1, 2019 he pled guilty. 

Friday he will be sentenced. 

And the federal judge has received dozens and dozens of letters from people urging him to throw the book at Collins and urging him to be lenient. 

One resident in the 27th congressional district wrote "...he tried to escape responsibility by lying to the FBI... It is my opinion that he shows no remorse."

Another wrote "...he has abandoned his responsibility to his voters and denied our district due representation." 

A third wrote "please give him a serious sentence as he broke trust with us and brought shame to his office."

There are more than 180 pages in letters of support of Chris Collins. The first one listed is from Collins' wife Mary. 

Her letter starts "I write to you as a distraught mother and wife to ask you to be merciful..." We are "devastated by the consequences of Chris' completely out of character decisions" she wrote. 

Her letter continues to say Collins is "... torturing himself over this horrible failure on his part, and I know he is deeply depressed about it."

Collins is facing anywhere from probation to roughly five years in prison. 

His lawyers asked for probation, asking the judge to consider all Collins' has done for his communities including the Boy Scouts. 

In his letter to the judge, U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman asked for 46 to 57 months in prison for Collins to "promote respect for the law, to provide just punishment for the offense, and to achieve general deterrence."

Berman writes Collins' "choice to commit fraud... bespeaks a total disregard for the rules that are intended to govern everyone's actions."

Collins is expected to be sentenced at 2:30 p.m. News10NBC's Chief Investigative reporter will be in New York City. Follow him on Twitter for updates throughout the day.


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