Michael Grimm: NY Rep in Custody Following 20-Count Indictment

Image: Michael Grimm: NY Rep in Custody Following 20-Count Indictment

Monday, 28 Apr 2014 12:40 PM

By Nick Sanchez

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Rep. Michael G. Grimm, R-N.Y., turned himself in to Manhattan authorities on Monday after a months-long investigation led to a slew of indictments for the embattled congressman.

The investigation and 20-count indictment from U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch centers on the restaurant business Grimm launched after leaving the FBI in 2006. Grimm is accused of setting up a tax evasion scheme at the Upper East Side business, where he allegedly hid $1 million and hired a number of illegal immigrants, according to USA Today.

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"In total, Grimm concealed over $1 million in Healthalicious gross receipts alone, as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars of employees' wages, fraudulently depriving the federal and New York state governments of sales, income and payroll taxes,'' the court documents read.

He also "intentionally'' hired illegal immigrants "in a pattern and practice of such hiring and continued employment.''

Fox News reported that Lynch made a statement while unsealing the indictment in which she said, "Michael Grimm made the choice to go from upholding the law to breaking it. And in doing so, he turned his back on every oath he had ever taken."

Healthalicious was ultimately fined $88,000 for failing to provide workers compensation. The workers themselves are also on record saying the company also did not uphold wage laws and gave cash payments as compensation in order to avoid taxation.

Many expected the charges include items related to Grimm's 2010 campaign, which was speculated to be the focus of the investigation. Grimm confirmed that during that race, he received nearly $300,000 in contributions from the congregation of Israeli rabbi, Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto. Later, many congregants said those contributions were likely illegal, as they were passed through straw donors.

In January, Grimm, a former FBI special agent and Marine Corps combat veteran, threatened to throw a reporter off a balcony when he asked about Grimm's alleged campaign finance improprieties.

"Let me be clear to you. If you ever do that to me again, I'll throw you off this (expletive) balcony," he told the man after the interview.

Michael Scotto, the reporter, retorted, saying he was asking a "valid question."

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