Federal prosecutors on Monday recommended that former Rep. Chris Collins be sentenced to nearly five years in prison — the maximum prison sentence — for his role in an insider trading case that led to his arrest and eventual downfall in Congress.

Collins initially denied any wrongdoing after he was indicted on insider trading charges in August 2018, and the New York Republican even went on to win reelection that year. But Collins ultimately pleaded guilty in October to conspiracy to commit securities fraud and making false statements. He resigned from Congress soon after.

Prosecutors say Collins, 69, deserves a lengthy prison sentence because he chose to continue serving in Congress — which they called “one of the most prestigious jobs in the United States” — and lied under questioning about the case, sending a message to the public that “those in power who make the laws are not required to follow them.”

Collins, one of President Donald Trump’s earliest backers on Capitol Hill, is due to be sentenced on Jan. 17.

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