President Donald Trump ally and former Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.) began his two-year prison sentence at Federal Prison Camp in Pensacola, Florida, after failing to delay his report date to the coronavirus pandemic for a second time, Buffalo News reports. The former congressman was originally set to begin his sentence on March 17.
“In the absence of a decision on his motion for an extension of the reporting date, Mr. Collins has reported as initially directed to FPC Pensacola,” Barr and New said in a statement, according to reports. “Although he is greatly concerned about the serious risks to his health from COVID-19 by reporting, he looks forward to putting this chapter behind him.”
Collins, who was the first sitting GOP congressman to endorse President Trump’s campaign in 2016, was sentenced in January to 26 months in prison on charges of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and lying to the FBI related to an Australian pharmaceutical company, Innate Therapeutics, which counted him as one of its top shareholders.
Collins resigned from office in September of last year and later pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to commit securities fraud and one count of making false statements.
An investigation by the Office of Congressional Ethics also found that he may have violated the law and House rules by sharing nonpublic information with investors.
Collin’s son has also pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud, and prosecutors have recommended that he serve at least 37 months in prison.