Former New York Rep. Chris Collins sentenced to 26 months for insider trading conviction

Bad news came this week for a former Republican congressman.

On Friday, Chris Collins, a former Republican representative from New York, was sentenced to 26 months in jail for insider trading. 

What did he do?

Collins was on the board of an Australian biotech company when he learned some information that would be particularly helpful for those who owned stock in the company. What he learned, before the matter became public, was that a drug that the company was working on failed during trials.

Collins then shared this information with two individuals — his own son and the father of his son’s fiance, Stephen Zarsky. Not only that, but he told them to get rid of the stock they owned in the company, which they did, saving some $768,000.

Perhaps trying to protect himself, however, Collins held on to the stock he owned; he accepted the loss. But, obviously, that didn’t get him off the hook.

The FBI finally caught up with him, and when they did, Collins decided to lie about whether he disclosed the information about the drug trial failure to anyone. This led to Collins’ resignation from Congress in September.

Collins in court

There was not much of a legal battle between Collins and the state because in October he pleaded guilty to insider trading.

On Friday, Judge Vernon S. Broderick, a member of the Southern District New York Court, handed down Collins’ sentence: 26 months behind bars and a $200,000 fine.

Collins, 69, was emotional as he addressed the court on Friday, Fox News reported. “I stand here today as a disgraced former member of Congress. My life has been shattered.”

According to the prosecution, though, Collins got off easy. They were pushing for a prison sentence in the range of 46 to 57 months — double the punishment that Collins actually received.

Justice for all

The legal system, of course, did not forget about Collins’ son and Mr. Zarsky. Both have been convicted of conspiring with Collins and as such, they will receive their own penalty, which will be handed out this upcoming week.

At the end of the day, all three individuals suffered big-time losses.

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