MANHATTAN (WKBW) — Disgraced former Congressman Chris Collins is asking a federal judge to once again push back the date when he must report to prison to begin serving his sentence for insider trading.
In a letter to Judge Vernon Broderick, attorneys representing Collins are asking the government to delay his report date by another two months to October 13, citing concerns for his safety due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
If granted, it would mark the third reporting delay for Collins related to concerns about his health. In April, the court approved a request from Collins' legal team to push back his reporting date to June 23. In May, the federal government approved another extension, to August 18.
"Since the time of the May request, confirmed COVID-19 cases have continued to rise. As of August 3, 2020, confirmed cases and deaths worldwide stand at approximately 18.1 million and 700,000, respectively, with domestic tallies of approximately 4.7 million and 155,000," states a letter to Judge Broderick from Backer Hostetler LLP.
Attorneys also point out that Collins is older than 65 and say he has additional health issues that put him at higher risk if he were to contract COVID-19 behind bars.
"The situation has continued to deteriorate, and given current conditions in BOP prisons, Mr. Collins, who is an elderly, first-time, non-violent offender, would face a serious and unnecessary risk to his health and well -being," attorneys argue.
The former Clarence Republican, who now lives in Florida, was sentenced in January to 26 months in prison, one year supervised release and a $200,000 fine. He resigned from his 27th Congressional District seat in September.
Collins will serve his sentence at a federal prison in Pensacola, Florida.