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

Antelope Valley Press - - BUSINESS - By LARRY NEUMEISTER and JIM MUSTIAN

NEW YORK — The first mem­ber of Congress to endorse Don­ald Trump to be pres­i­dent was sen­tenced Fri­day to two years and two months in fed­eral prison af­ter ad­mit­ting he helped his son and oth­ers dodge $800,000 in stock mar­ket losses when he learned that a drug trial by a small phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pany had failed.

Ex-Con­gress­man Christo­pher Collins, 69, was sen­tenced by U.S. District Judge Ver­non S. Brod­er­ick in Man­hat­tan af­ter the Repub­li­can pleaded guilty in Oc­to­ber to con­spir­acy to com­mit se­cu­ri­ties fraud and ly­ing to law en­force­ment of­fi­cials.

Collins broke down and apol­o­gized to his fam­ily and his for­mer con­stituents and col­leagues.

“I stand here to­day as a dis­graced for­mer mem­ber of Congress,” he said. “My life has been shat­tered.”

The sen­tence came even af­ter Collins’ lawyers ar­gued he was sorry and should face no prison time in the in­sider trad­ing case.

Prose­cu­tors, how­ever, ar­gued he should go to prison for nearly five years. They said Collins and his son, Cameron, were worth a to­tal of $35 mil­lion when they con­spired to sell shares in a phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pany be­fore dev­as­tat­ing news was made pub­lic.

The trad­ing, prose­cu­tors said, en­abled Cameron Collins and friends to dodge $800,000 in losses.

Collins’ at­tor­neys re­quested le­niency, cit­ing his con­tri­tion, ad­vanced age, char­i­ta­ble works and a low chance that he would com­mit any more crimes.

“This is a sad and tragic day for Chris and his fam­ily,” de­fense at­tor­ney Jonathan Barr said. “He stands be­fore you hum­bled, pen­i­tent and re­morse­ful.”

Collins had been a vo­cal Trump sup­porter, be­com­ing the first mem­ber of Congress to endorse him as a pres­i­den­tial can­di­date. He also called for an end to spe­cial coun­sel Robert Mueller’s probe into pos­si­ble cam­paign col­lu­sion and blamed for­mer Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s ad­min­is­tra­tion for fail­ing to push back on Rus­sia.

COLLINS

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