Chris Collins turned down plea deal from feds before indictment: report

Chris Collins turned down plea deal from feds before indictment: report
© Greg Nash

Rep. Chris CollinsChristopher (Chris) Carl CollinsPresidential pardons need to go Trump grants clemency to more than 100 people, including Bannon Pardon talk intensifies as Trump approaches final 24 hours in office MORE (R-N.Y.) turned down a plea deal from federal prosecutors before they indicted him earlier this month on insider trading, according to The Buffalo News.

The sources who spoke to the newspaper did not disclose the plea deal’s terms, and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York declined the publication's request for comment.

Collins was arrested earlier this month on charges related to an Australian pharmaceutical company called Innate Immunotherapeutics; Collins is one of the company's largest shareholders and sat on the board of directors.

Prosecutors also charged Collins’s son, Cameron Collins, and Stephen Zarsky, the father of Cameron’s fiancée.

Prosecutors allege that Collins gave nonpublic information about drug trial tests to his son to help him “make timely trades in Innate Stock and tip others.”

Collins also allegedly shared the information with Zarsky. The two then allegedly passed the results on to six other people.

Rumors of Collins’s possible insider trading have emerged in the past. Last year, multiple GOP members of Congress told The Hill that Collins boasted about making other lawmakers rich by telling them to invest in Innate.

Collins was set to oppose Democrat Nat McMurray in the November midterm elections, but he suspended his reelection campaign after his arrest.

Democrats threatened to sue to keep Collins on the ballot. Erie County Democratic Party Chairman Jeremy Zellner told The Hill, “Our contention and a lot of people’s contention is this is fraudulent to get him off the ballot.”

“It is too late to get him off the ballot,” Zellner added.