Ex-congressman Chris Collins to be sentenced in New York for insider trading

Ex-congressman Chris Collins to be sentenced in New York for insider trading

Chris Collins, former U.S. Representative for New York’s 27th congressional district departs after pleading guilty at Federal Court in New York City, New York, U.S., October 1, 2019. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Chris Collins, a former U.S. Congressman from New York who was an early backer of President Donald Trump, is due to be sentenced on Friday after pleading guilty to taking part in an insider trading scheme.

Collins, 69, pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy and making false statements in October in federal court in Manhattan, a day after resigning his seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Although he faces a maximum of five years in prison for each of the two charges, prosecutors have agreed as part of a plea deal that a reasonable sentence would be a total of less than five years.

A few months after he was criminally charged in 2018, Collins had narrowly won re-election to the 27th Congressional District in western New York.

He was convicted for trading on insider information while a board member and a 16.8% stakeholder of Australian biotechnology company Innate Immunotherapeutics Ltd.

After learning from an email sent by the company’s chief executive that an experimental multiple sclerosis drug had failed a clinical trial, Collins relayed the news to his son, allowing him to sell shares before the news became public and eroded their value. His son also passed the tip on to others.

Reporting by Jonathan Allen; Editing by Daniel Wallis

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