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Legal analysts weigh in on Chris Collins' 26-month sentence

Federal prosecutors wanted Collins to go to prison for five years. Two analysts say his emotional comments in court likely worked in his favor.

Former Congressman Chris Collins was sentenced Friday to 26 months in prison for insider trading.

He'll also face one-year of supervised release and a $200,000 fine.  

Collins was accused of illegally leaking confidential information about a biopharmaceutical company to his son Cameron and Stephen Zarsky, the father of his son's fiancée.

Legal analysts Barry Covert and Tom Eoannou were at Channel 2 when the 26-month sentence was handed down. 

"I think the judge did an excellent job," Eoannou said. "The judge was offended by the conduct, indicated he was incredibly offended by the lie 10 months later to the FBI. He went through the crime, as he should. Balancing the scales of justice, he then went to the person."

Federal prosecutors wanted Collins to go to prison for five years.

Covert and Eoannou say Collins' emotional comments to the court likely worked in his favor.

"I think that Chris Collins really saved the day himself when he really fell on the sword and he took full responsibility," Covert explained.

Both attorneys believe Collins could've potentially faced a very different outcome if it weren't for the length of time he continued to deny the allegations. 

"If Chris had come forward sooner and said, 'You know, I really made a mistake on my stocks,' either that night told his son don't do it," Covert said, "or even after they did it, if he would've tried to correct it and stepped up and taken responsibility, it may well have stayed a civil matter."

Eoannou added, "An impulsive, emotional act in a moment of distress is one thing. A lie 10 months later in this judge's mind seemed to be far more serious."

As for Collins' son Cameron, Covert and Eoannou suspect the judge will likely be more lenient on him when he's sentenced next week.

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