Politics

Report: Collins Turned Down Plea Deal for Insider Trading Case

New York congressman was indicted for tipping off family and friends about tanking stock

 Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., leaves a House Republican Conference meeting in the Capitol in June. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Embattled Rep. Chris Collins reportedly turned down a plea deal over the insider trading charges he was indicted on.

The Buffalo News cited two sources who wished to not be identified saying that the congressman had been offered a deal, but they did not disclose the terms. Lawyers for Collins and the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York declined to comment to the newspaper.

Collins was indicted earlier this month for securities fraud after allegedly tipping off his son and his son Cameron Collins’ fiance’s family about stocks for an Australian company of which Collins was member of the board.

“In a case like this, prosecutors usually play the family card,” Paul Cambria, a Buffalo defense attorney, told the newspaper. “The father would plead guilty in order to get concessions for the son. I would be shocked if that weren’t part of the deal.”

Collins did not sell any stock from Innate Immunotherapeutics but the indictment said he tipped off his son Cameron Collins, who sold $1.4 million in stock after one of the drug’s trial results showed it was not as successful as hoped. 

Collins has insisted on his innocence but announced he would not seek re-election in New York’s 27th district. 

“The legal team won’t comment on this beyond restating what they and Mr. Collins have said previously,” Trevor Francis, a spokesman for Collins’ lawyers told the Buffalo News. “Congressman Collins intends to fight these charges in court and ultimately be vindicated.”

Rebecca Monck Ricigliano, one of Cameron Collins’ lawyers, made similar remarks. 

“We intend to mount a vigorous defense on behalf of our client, Cameron Collins,” she said. …We look forward to addressing these charges in court, and will not be commenting on this case outside of the courtroom.”

John Coffee Jr., a professor of corporate law at Columbia University, told the Buffalo News Collins could possibly say he gave his son the stock information in confidence.

“But if you say that, you’re turning on your son and sending him to prison,” he said.

Watch: Collins Allegedly Shared Insider Trading Knowledge While At Congressional Picnic

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