The Department of Justice is recommending that former Republican Rep. Chris Collins of New York receive a maximum sentence for his conviction on one count of conspiring to commit securities fraud, which was the result of a guilty plea last October the day after he resigned from Congress.
Collins is scheduled to be sentenced in a Manhattan federal courtroom on Jan. 17, and his plea agreement, along with a Presentence Investigation Report, provided a sentencing range of 46 to 57 months in prison. The DOJ recommended a sentence Monday at the maximum end -- or around four-and-a-half years.
"The Government believes that a sentence at the top end of the Guidelines range is necessary in order to satisfy the objectives of Title 18 United States Code, Section 3553(a), and in particular to promote respect for the law, to provide just punishment for the offense, and to achieve general deterrence," prosecutors with the Southern District of New York said in a letter to U.S. District Court Judge Vernon S. Broderick.
Collins' conviction followed an indictment on charges related to insider trading allegations, as prosecutors said he provided non-public information about biotechnology company Innate -- for which he sat on the board -- to his son Cameron, tipping him off that a drug the company was working on had failed a trial so that Cameron could sell his shares before the stock price went down. Collins was a sitting congressman at the time and was at a Congressional Picnic at the White House when he learned the news, prosecutors said.
Collins was also accused of lying about this to investigators.
Prosecutors said it does not matter that Collins himself did not profit from any of this.
"Collins was not able to trade his own shares because they were tied up with a transfer agent," prosecutors said in their letter (emphasis in original). "He did the next best thing, which was to tip Cameron."
The former congressman's legal team asked the court for a non-jail sentence of probation, in a memo submitted to the court last week.
"Society, as a whole, will gain no benefit from incarcerating a 69-year-old husband, father, and grandfather," the memo said.
Fox News' Marta Dhanis contributed to this report.