Chris Collins pleads guilty to insider trading, faces up to 10 years in prison

Oct 1, 2019

Former congressman Chris Collins has pleaded guilty in an insider trading case, a day after he resigned from Congress.

The Republican, who represented New York's 27th District, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit securities fraud and making false statements Tuesday in federal court in Manhattan. He faces a maximum sentence of up to five in prison on each count at sentencing on Jan. 17, 2020.

Former congressman Chris Collins pleaded guilty to two counts in his federal insider trading case Tuesday in Manhattan.
Credit File photo

Collins, 69, was accused of leaking confidential information about a biopharmaceutical company to his son while attending a White House picnic in 2017. The information allowed the son and his son's prospective father-in-law to dump their stock in the company and avoid nearly $800,000 in losses.  

“By virtue of his office, Christopher Collins helped write the laws of this country, but he acted as if the law did not apply to him.  Today, by pleading guilty, Collins acknowledged that while he was a member of Congress he committed insider trading and then lied to the FBI in an attempt to cover it up.  Today’s plea is a reminder that all citizens stand equal before the law in our criminal justice system,” U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said.

(L-R) Geoffrey Berman, US Attorney for the Southern District of NY, William F. Sweeney Jr., assistant director in charge of New York's FBI field office and Jason Cowley, chief of securities and commodities fraud task force for US Southern District of NY
Credit Gwynne Hogan / WNYC

The House of Representatives made Collins' resignation official Tuesday morning. It's now up to Gov. Andrew Cuomo to set a special election to fill the seat in the heavily-Republican district. Cuomo said Tuesday he would like to do so "sooner, rather than later."

Collins was among the first members of Congress to support President Donald Trump's run for the White House.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.