4. SOUNDBITE (English) Geoffrey Berman, U.S. Attorney for Southern District of New York:
"Moments ago former New York Congressman Christopher Collins pled guilty to insider trading and to lying to the FBI in order to cover up his insider trading scheme. Collins admitted to among other things, illegally tipping his son while standing on the White House lawn."
5. Wide, courthouse
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Geoffrey Berman, U.S. Attorney for Southern District of New York:
"By virtue of his position Collins helped write the laws of this country and acted as if the law didn't apply to him. This courthouse is a representation, personifies the ideal of equal justice under law. No one is above the law and it is because of our office commitment to and pursuit of that ideal that Collins is now a convicted felon and no longer a member of Congress."
Former Rep. Chris Collins pleaded guilty Tuesday in an insider trading case, a day after he resigned from Congress and set off a scramble to fill his seat in his Republican-leaning district.
Collins had initially denied charges he leaked confidential information about a pharmaceutical company and was set to go to trial next year in federal court in Manhattan on conspiracy, securities fraud and other charges.
But on Monday, the court filed papers saying the Republican from western New York would be withdrawing his not guilty plea and he submitted a resignation letter to Congress.
With Collin's departure, it will be up to Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo to set a special election to replace him.
The case against the 69-year-old Collins stemmed from his business dealings with Innate Immunotherapeutics Ltd., a biotechnology company headquartered in Sydney, Australia. He was the company's largest shareholder and sat on its board.
According to the indictment, Collins was attending the Congressional Picnic at the White House in 2017 when he received an email from the company's chief executive saying that a drug developed to treat multiple sclerosis had proven to be a clinical failure.
The next morning, according to the indictment, Cameron Collins began selling his shares, unloading enough over a two-day period to avoid $570,900 in losses before a public announcement of the drug trial results. After the announcement, the company's stock price plunged 92%.
Cameron Collins is accused of passing along the information to his fiancée's father, so he could also dump his stock. The son is expected to plead guilty on Wednesday.