Former Congressman Chris Collins has learned his fate in his federal insider trading case.
A U.S. District judge sentenced him to 26 months in prison Friday. He was also fined $200,000.
Collins pleaded guilty to securities fraud conspiracy and making false statements to the FBI.
He was sentenced in federal court in Manhattan.
It’s the culmination of a case that began back in August 2018 when Collins was first arrested and charged with this insider trading scheme.
He maintained his innocence and won re-election. Then last year, he reversed course, pleaded guilty, and resigned from his office in Congress.
Collins on Friday broke down and got emotional with a 12-minute address to the court. He was continually choking back sobs and was hard to understand at times.
He said, "I have violated my core values and I don't deserve your sympathy."
Collins apologized to his family, to his former colleagues in Congress, and to the FBI agents he lied to.
The judge in the case noted that Collins' constituents have been without representation since last October when he resigned his seat.
There is now a special election scheduled for April 28 to fill that seat.
Collins is due to surrender on March 17. He will most likely be spending his time in Pensacola, Florida near the home where he now lives, saying he could no longer face his constituents.
He did not respond when asked by reporters if he expects to be pardoned by President Trump, a longtime ally.
Democrat Nate McMurray, who Collins defeated in the race for the 27th congressional district in November 2018, released a statement Friday evening, saying:
“Years of lies by Collins and those who justified his crimes ends like this. Tears. An empty seat. It’s a sad moment. No sentence can heal the damage caused. The sting will linger.
Remember this. Who brought us here. So when we look back, we will see how far we’ve come. I'm heading to my son's basketball game, watching a movie with my family, going to sleep, and waking up tomorrow to continue the fight to restore integrity to NY-27 and Washington.”
Republican Sen. Rob Ortt, an NY-27 candidate, also released a statement, saying:
“The constituents of NY-27 deserve better, and today provides us the opportunity to close this disappointing chapter and start fresh. This district deserves a faithful and hardworking conservative representing them in Congress, putting the needs of Western New York and America first. I believe I am the candidate best qualified to do so and it is my sincere hope that I’m afforded the opportunity to once again serve my country.”