Prosecutors say a former US congressman should serve almost five years in prison for feeding inside information about a biotechnology company to his son.
USA attorneys in the Southern District of NY filed their sentencing submission Monday, arguing Collins should receive a sentence on the high-end of his 46-to-57-month sentencing guidelines.
Collins, who was the first Congressman to endorse President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign, in October, pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit securities fraud and making false statements after initially facing an 11-count indictment.
They also said that his crime was "exacerbated by its total gratuitousness" because Collins at the time needed no money since he had $13.8 million in assets, not including another $6.9 million that was owed to him.
"The applicable sentencing range for Congressman Collins under the United States Sentencing Guidelines ('Guidelines') is 46 to 57 months' imprisonment", the US Attorney for the Southern District of NY wrote in the court document.
Collins pleaded guilty late previous year in the case, which relates to an Australian biotechnology company, Innate Immunotherapeutics, a firm for which the former congressman sat on the board and held a significant stake in.
Prosecutors, including U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman, wrote it's critical that Collins' sentence send a message that those in power are not above the law.
Collins will be sentenced by Broderick at 2:30 p.m. Friday in New York City. He admitted to tipping off his son Cameron to the negative results of the clinical trial for a a multiple sclerosis drug being developed by Innate Immunotherapeutics, an Australian biotechology company on whose board he served.
Cameron Collins and Stephen Zarsky, meanwhile, both pleaded guilty in the case, according to the Buffalo News.
The three avoided losing $768,000 in the move.
Collins then called his son, Cameron, and urged him, along with others, to sell shares of Innate to avoid grave losses once the information of the failed test became public knowledge.
"Almost immediately after lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation", prosecutors said, Collins warned others that they may be approached by investigators. Probation officials recommend Collins serve a year and a day in prison, citing the fact Collins acted "out of concern for his son". "Collins committed a financial crime without having any financial need", he wrote.
"Collins was not able to trade his own shares because they were tied up with a transfer agent", prosecutors said in their letter (emphasis in original). "Collins was better situated than nearly anyone else to understand the societal importance of following the law", the prosecutor said his filing.