A top Republican has announced that he is resigning from the U.S. House of Representatives — but this retirement isn’t normal or usual.
New York Republican Rep. Chris Collins abruptly resigned from Congress this week ahead of his expected guilty plea in an insider trading case.
Collins sent an official letter of resignation that took effect when Congress met in a brief session on Tuesday.
When he appears in a Manhattan courtroom on Tuesday, Collins will plead guilty to insider trading charges related to his investment in an Australian biotech firm.
The charges against Collins are serious, and some have speculated that he could be sentenced to prison if the judge delivers a tough ruling.
Cameron Collins, the congressman’s son, and another defendant, Stephen Zarsky, are also expected to plead guilty later this week.
Collins, who was able to win reelection last fall despite being under indictment, was charged in August 2018 with securities fraud, wire fraud and making false statements to FBI agents investigating the case.
Collins was the largest investor and a member of the board of directors for Innate Immunotherapeutics, an Australian biotech company. He was charged with passing inside information on the company to his son and Zarsky, father of Cameron Collins’ fiancee.
Using that information, Cameron Collins and Zarsky were able to avoid hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses after a drug trial failed, authorities say.
At that time, the Securities and Exchange Commission settled with Lauren Zarsky, Cameron Collins’ fiancee, and her mother, Dorothy Zarsky, over allegations of insider trading. The pair neither admitted nor denied, but they agreed to give up “ill-gotten gains” and pay fines, the SEC said.
Collins allegedly told his son about the drug trial results months earlier, allowing the younger Collins, Zarsky and other family members to dump their shares before the news became public, prosecutors later charged. Collins himself did not sell his shares.
The FBI and SEC, however, began looking into the case, including interviewing Collins and his family. The lawmaker denied sharing any inside information.
Collins and the others were indicted in Aug. 2018. Collins stepped down from his seat on the Energy and Commerce Committee, but he didn’t resign from office.
Seems like a lot of high-profile lawmakers have been in hot water lately for their actions.
In the past few months, at least seven corrupt Democrats have been charged and arrested.
Below are a few examples:
–Former Democratic Texas State District Judge Rudy Delgado was sentenced to five years in federal prison after a major FBI sting operation. Delgado was arrested and charged with taking bribes in exchange for giving favorable rulings in his courtroom for more than a decade.
–FBI agents were seen on Tuesday carrying brown evidence bags as they raided Democratic Illinois State Senator Martin Sandoval’s offices as part of an “ongoing criminal investigation.” The raids are rumored to be connected to Sandoval playing a key role in helping implement a 19-cent increase in the gas tax to help fund Democratic Governor J.B. Prtizker’s $45 billion plan to rebuild roads, bridges, and schools.
–Sherikia Hawkins, a prominent city clerk for Southfield, Michigan, was arrested and charged this week for allegedly forging records and falsely marking at least 200 absentee ballots as invalid during the 2018 midterm election. She is now facing six felony charges for the stunning election crimes.
–Ed Buck, who has spent decades donating serious money to prominent Democrats such as Obama and the Clintons, was arrested and charged with running a drug house. Two young black men have been found dead in the past 18 months inside Buck’s apartment.
–Fall River Democratic Mayor Jasiel Correia was arrested on charges that he conspired to extort hundreds of thousands of dollars from companies seeking to operate marijuana businesses.
–A Democrat superior court judge in Massachusetts was arrested for assault and battery after she attacked her wife inside their home. Judge Shannon Frison allegedly “forcibly grabbed” her wife’s hair while she was holding a young child.
–A Democratic Indiana state representative and firefighter was arrested and charged after impersonating a police officer and trying to buy cocaine while driving under the influence.