In a letter submitted to the court on Monday, federal prosecutors asked for a lengthy sentence for former Republican Congressman Chris Collins of New York. Collins was convicted for insider trading after scheming with his son to sell off stocks in an Australian biotech company where Collins sat on the board of directors.
Collins is scheduled to be sentenced on January 17, he’s plead guilty to two charges — conspiring to committee securities fraud and making materially false statements to the FBI. That came after initially denying the charges and saying that he would stay in Congress.
The government asked for 46 to 57 months for Collins, saying, “The government believes that a sentence at the top end of the guidelines range is necessary in order … to promote respect for the law, to provide just punishment for the offense, and to achieve general deterrence.”
Prosecutors slammed Collins in their sentencing letter, writing, “The cynicism of Collins conduct — his decision to repeatedly violate federal law while continuing to accept the trust of the public to draft it — is exacerbated by its total gratuitousness.”
They also said that letters from Collins’ former constituents are evidence of the need for a longer sentencing in the case, writing, “Numerous letters that Representative Collins’ former constituents have submitted to the Court expressing their deep frustration and disappointment with Collins’ secret illegal behavior reinforce the need for a substantial period of incarceration to promote respect for the law.”
Prosecutors noted that Collins was already extremely wealthy when he made the insider trading play, even pointing out that he has a baseball card collection worth $1 million.
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
Though his tenure in Congress is over, the former New York Congressman played an interesting role in history. He was the first congressional endorsement that President Donald Trump received in his run for president. In early 2016, Collins said on CNN, “We need a chief executive, not a chief politician.”