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Chris Collins' downfall started with a phone call. It ends today before a judge

The stunning news came in August 2018: Rep. Chris Collins of Clarence, the former Erie County executive, the successful businessman, the first member of Congress to announce support for then-presidential candidate Donald Trump, had been indicted on charges of insider trading.

The story actually had begun 14 months earlier, when The Buffalo News reported on what appeared to be the unusual circumstances surrounding the sale of stock in a company called Innate Immunotherapeutics, where Collins was a board member. And it took another turn in October of last year when Collins, who had professed his innocence from the day of the incident, through the indictment and his re-election in November 2018, admitted his guilt and resigned from Congress.

Today, the final chapter of the story will be written, when Collins stands before a judge in Manhattan and learns what his sentence will be.

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Ahead of Chris Collins' Friday sentencing, experts say prison time awaits: At 2:30 p.m. Friday in Manhattan, U.S. District Court Judge Vernon S. Broderick will decide how to punish the four-term Republican congressman from Clarence.

Judge casts doubt on whether Chris Collins' crime was impulsive: The judge who will sentence Chris Collins on insider trading charges on Friday appears to have doubts about the defense argument that the then-congressman's crime was a rash and isolated act.

Column: Chris Collins is Exhibit A in GOP case that ‘you can’t trust government’: News columnist Rod Watson writes: "In disgrace and facing prison pinstripes – perhaps even more than as a congressman – Collins makes the very case that he, Donald Trump and the rest of that cabal have pressed for years to undermine faith in the American experiment in self-rule: that government cannot be trusted."

Rep. Chris Collins, R-Clarence. (Jefferson Siegel/Special to The News)

Urging stiff sentence, prosecutors note Chris Collins' wealth: Geoffrey S. Berman, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, and his assistants sent a 11-page letter to Judge Broderick recommending the former congressman be sent to prison for up to 57 months.

Constituents urge judge to get tough on Chris Collins: Lock him up! That's what dozens of former Rep. Chris Collins' constituents urged Judge Broderick to do when he sentences the businessman/politician.

Friends defend Collins as the leader Buffalo never really knew: Letters filed in federal court provide the evidence Chris Collins' lawyers cite in a sentencing memo in which they argue that he deserves home confinement at his residence in Florida rather than a prison term.

Chris Collins' recommended prison sentence? A year and a day.: The U.S. Probation Office is recommending Chris Collins spend a year and a day in custody, followed by supervised release and a $200,000 fine.

Behind the Collins scandal: How one phone call devastated two families: Hundreds of pages of letters from those caught up in the Chris Collins scandal and their friends offer rich portraits of Collins' son, Cameron, and Stephen Zarsky, Cameron's future father-in-law, while making clear that the Collins saga is not just a political scandal. It is also a sprawling self-inflicted tragedy for two families that will culminate in the next two weeks as Chris Collins, his son and Zarsky are sentenced for their crimes.

Chris Collins ends political career by paying himself back from campaign funds: Chris Collins closed out his political career in late December by repaying himself $146,393.71 in leftover campaign funds – without reimbursing his donors for the $15,400 they gave to his campaign committee early last year.

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