Congressman Michael Grimm, the NYC Staten Island borough U.S. Representative, was sentenced to eight months in prison on tax evasion charges in Brooklyn federal court on Friday. In December, the Republican admitted that he had “underreported” worker wages at, Healthalicious, a restaurant he co-owned before entering politics.
Michael Grimm was a Marine and an FBI agent before he was elected to Congress in 2011. The New York Representative first made national headlines last January when he threatened to toss a television reporter off a balcony. The Grimm incident with the television reporter stemmed from angst over an ongoing probe into his fundraising activities.
— The Hill (@thehill) July 18, 2015
“I’ll break you in half. Like a boy,” Congressman Grimm told the reporter during the balcony threat incident.
The Healthalicious allegations also reportedly stemmed from the fundraising investigation. Grimm’s former fundraiser, Diana Durand, was indicted on related charges. In spite of the 20-count federal indictment levied against him, the Congressman was re-elected by a landslide last year. Durand plead guilty to the funneling of illegal campaign contributions and was sentenced to three months in prison.
— The Boston Globe (@BostonGlobe) July 18, 2015
The underreporting of wages of Healthalicious workers charges reportedly related to the hiring of illegal immigrants to work under the table. After pleading guilty to one of the charged counts in December, Congressman Grimm refused to resign. A week after making the public vow to remain in office, the Representative reportedly received intense pressure from GOP leadership and stepped down.
Before the Congressman was sentenced, he entered into a plea deal which required him to sign a statement of facts and admissions. Among the incidents Michael Grimm noted was the fact that he hid more $900,000 in gross receipts from 2007 to 2010. The Staten Island Representative also admitted that he committed perjury during a 2013 deposition.
Michael Grimm’s attorneys urged U.S. District Judge Pamela Chen not to impose any prison time on the Congressman. The lawyers maintained that ordering Grimm to spend time behind bars was an “aberration” in a “life of public service.” Federal prosecutors questioned whether or not the Representative was “truly remorseful” about his actions and stated that prison time was indeed warranted due to the serious nature of his offenses.
What do you think of the Michael Grimm sentence?
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