Legal Experts Say Chris Collins Will Find it Tough to Clear His Name

Aug. 10, 2018
U.S. Rep. Chris Collins leaves federal court in Manhattan after his arraignment on Wednesday. (Jefferson Siegel/Special to The News)
U.S. Rep. Chris Collins leaves federal court in Manhattan after his arraignment on Wednesday.

Rep. Chris Collins says the insider trading charges filed against him are “meritless,” and the Clarence Republican vows to go to trial to clear his name.

But in a federal court where more than 90 percent of criminal cases end up in plea deals, clearing his name won’t be easy for Collins or his two co-defendants, according to defense attorneys who spoke to The Buffalo News about the case.

“Based on the facts I’ve seen from the indictment, this appears to be a very egregious case of insider trading. … These facts, these allegations – you don’t often get much better evidence than this,” said David R. Chase, a Florida attorney who used to prosecute insider trading cases as a senior counsel for the Stock Exchange Commission’s enforcement division and now defends people accused of the crime.

Felony charges were filed Wednesday against Collins; the congressman’s son, Cameron; and Stephen Zarsky, the father of Cameron Collins’ fiancee.

Despite Collins’ proclamation that he plans to go to trial, Chase predicts the case will eventually wind up in plea deals for the three defendants.
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