U.S. attorneys recommend up to 57-month prison sentence for Collins

Western New York

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — U.S. attorneys have submitted a letter to U.S. District Judge Vernon Broderick in wake of the coming sentencing of former Congressman Chris Collins.

While serving as the representative for New York’s 27th Congressional District, Collins was arrested on charges related to insider trading.

Later, in October, the Republican admitted to conspiracy to commit securities fraud and lying to the FBI related to insider trading.

Collins had been serving on biotechnology company Innate’s board of directors at the time. He was also one of their largest shareholders, owning nearly 17 percent of the company’s stock.

Upon learning that the trial for a drug meant to treat secondary progressive multiple sclerosis was a failure, Collins informed his son Cameron of the results, illegally sharing this information before it went public.

When it did go public, Innate’s stock price dropped by 92 percent.

Cameron proceeded to tell his fiancee’s father, Stephen Zarsky, about the results before they went public, too, in an effort to save him from losing money as well. This also occurred prior to the results going public.

On the first day of October, Collins’ guilty plea came hours after he formally left his position as one of western New York’s representatives in Congress.

His son and Zarsky also admitted to their roles in the case.

Now, Collins is scheduled to be sentenced this Friday, and a special election to fill the seat he vacated is targeted for April 28.

Prosecutors are recommending Collins serve between 46 and 57 months in prison. On the flip side, Collins’ attorneys are seeking probation.

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