Rep. Chris Collins Expected To Plead Guilty To Insider Trading Tuesday

The Republican congressman resigned Monday. He previously dismissed the charges as "meritless" and the result of a "witch hunt."

Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.) is expected to plead guilty Tuesday to felony charges related to insider trading, two years after dismissing the allegations as a “witch hunt.”

Collins resigned Monday amid reports of his guilty plea, the Associated Press reported.

Collins, his son Cameron, and Stephen Zarsky, the father of Cameron’s fiancée, had all initially pleaded not guilty after the FBI arrested them in August 2018. 

Federal court records show Collins is scheduled to appear for a “change of plea hearing” at 3:00 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday. Cameron and Zarsky are scheduled to appear for similar hearings Thursday.

All three face charges of securities fraud, wire fraud and making false statements. All three are expected to change their pleas, though it’s unclear which exact charges they will plead guilty to. 

Collins served on the board of a small Australian biotech company called Innate Immunotherapeutics. He allegedly told his son and Zarsky about the unpublicized trial failure of a drug the company had developed, which would later cause stock prices to plummet 92 percent.

Cameron and Zarsky both unloaded their shares before the stock tanked, thereby avoiding $768,000 in losses, according to an indictment

At the time of his arrest, Collins told reporters the charges were “meritless” and that he would “mount a vigorous defense in court to clear my name.”

The charges incensed President Donald Trump, who attacked then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions for allowing the indictments to move forward, brazenly suggesting the Justice Department should prioritize party affiliation over criminality.

Collins owned 37.9 million shares, worth just over $20 million, in the company before things went south.

The three-term congressman was narrowly reelected in 2018 by less than one percentage point. Lawmakers convicted of felonies aren’t barred from holding their seats, but they aren’t allowed to vote.