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Prosecutors want judge to send Chris Collins to prison for more than three years

Posted at 1:13 PM, Jan 13, 2020

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Federal prosecutors want former congressman turned convicted felon Chris Collins to spend not months but several years in prison for making false statements and conspiring to commit securities fraud.

In a letter from the U. S. Department of Justice to U.S. District Judge Vernon Broderick of the Southern District of New York, U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman calls on Broderick to sentence Collins to 46 to 57 months behind bars.

"The Government believes that a sentence at the top end of the Guidelines range is necessary in order to satisfy the objectives of Title 18, United States Code, Section 3553(a), and in particular to promote respect for the law, to provide just punishment for the offense, and to achieve general deterrence."

During the White House's congressional picnic in 2017, prosecutors say Collins got bad news about a failed drug trial for multiple sclerosis being developed by an Australian bio-tech company in which he was the largest stock holder. Prosecutors say Collins called his son, Cameron, from the White House lawn to tip him off to the news. Cameron Collins dumped his shares before news of the failed trial became public, avoiding more than $768,000 in losses.

At his guilty plea in October, Collins said "I tried to be a model citizen and I'm embarrassed and dismayed because the actions are anything but what a model citizen would take."

Judge Broderick has received dozens of letters from both supporters of Collins asking for no prison time, and taxpayers of the now-unrepresented 27th Congressional District asking for no leniency. The U.S. Probation Department is recommending the Clarence Republican serve one year and one day of home confinement at his residence in Florida.

Collins will face sentencing Friday in Manhattan. His son Cameron will be sentenced on January 23.