Jul 17 2015

Grimm’s Fairy Tales

C’mon, you know I had to.

Michael Grimm, Former Congressman, Gets 8-Month Sentence


JULY 17, 2015

Michael G. Grimm, a former New York congressman who resigned from office after pleading guilty to tax fraud, was given an eight-month sentence on Friday.

A federal investigation that initially focused on Mr. Grimm’s campaign fund-raising turned into a 20-count indictment related to his running of a restaurant in Manhattan, Healthalicious. Prosecutors said he underreported wages and revenue to the government and filed false tax documents as a result.

Prosecutors had requested a sentence of 24 to 30 months, while defense lawyers argued for no prison time. Judge Chen, who said that federal sentencing guidelines called for a term of 18 to 24 months, described the crime as “sustained fraud.”

“That this type of crime is common does not lessen its significance,” the judge said. “Your moral compass, Mr. Grimm, needs some reorientation.”

Mr. Grimm was a former Marine and Federal Bureau of Investigation agent. He was elected in 2010 to represent Staten Island and part of Brooklyn in Congress, and resigned after he pleaded guilty in December to one count of tax fraud, a felony.

Mr. Grimm had been punished enough, Mr. Rashbaum added, saying that he “suffered this humiliation” publicly: He left Congress and forfeited his pension; his law license has been suspended in New York and Connecticut; and he faces likely disbarment.

An assistant United States attorney, James D. Gatta, argued that Mr. Grimm had not taken responsibility for his crime. “He wants the court to accept that he is remorseful, but still, even today, he is trying to shift the blame for his conduct to others,” he said.

“He wraps himself in the oaths that he has sworn when it suits him, and turns his back on those oaths when it suits him,” Mr. Gatta said.

Mr. Grimm is scheduled to surrender Sept. 10 and begin his sentence. Once he serves his term, he must perform 200 hours of community service.

Judge Chen said that Mr. Grimm’s work for the F.B.I., as an agent investigating white-collar crime, meant that “he of all people knew better.”

Such a nice guy

On January 28, 2014, NY1-TV political reporter Michael Scotto was interviewing Grimm in a balcony hallway of the U.S. Capitol building about the recently concluded 2014 State of the Union Address. He then tried to question Grimm about a campaign finance investigation. Grimm said he would not discuss the investigation. As Scotto started to mention the investigation again, Grimm walked off. Scotto then turned to the camera and implied that Grimm didn’t want to face the issue on camera. Grimm then appeared to threaten Scotto, saying that he would “break [Scotto] in half,” as well as threatening to throw Scotto over the balcony.

Grimm issued a statement defending his behavior, saying that he was annoyed by what he called a “disrespectful cheap shot” from Scotto.[67][68] The next day, Grimm contacted Scotto to offer an apology for his behavior, which Scotto deemed sincere.[69] Grimm also issued a written apology, saying, “I shouldn’t have allowed my emotions to get the better of me and lose my cool.”[70] An unnamed former staffer for Grimm and NY1-TV political director Bob Hardt reported that Grimm had behaved in a similar manner to other reporters on previous occasions.

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