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Grimm ending: Tax-cheat ex-congressman sentenced to eight months

Up the river: Disgraced former congressman and confessed tax cheat Michael Grimm will serve eight months in prison for his crimes.
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Call him Mikey Jumpsuits.

Disgraced former congressman and federal investigator Michael Grimm — who once went by the name “Mikey Suits” while investigating white-collar crimes as an undercover federal agent — will don an orange prison jumpsuit for eight months as punishment for cheating on his taxes, according to a ruling issued by federal judge Pamela K. Chen on July 17.

Grimm hoped that his two tours of duty in the Marine Corps and his service as a Federal Bureau of Investigation agent and congressman would help lighten his sentence. But his service worked against him, because he should have known better, Chen said.

“He of all people knew better,” she said. “Your moral compass, Mr. Grimm, needs reorientat­ion.”

She ordered Grimm to serve eight months in jail, one year of probation, 200 hours of community service, and to pay restitution.

Federal authorities indicted Grimm in late April of 2013, charging the ex-Marine and former law-enforcement agent with 20 counts of tax, insurance, and immigration fraud in connection with a Manhattan restaurant he co-owned prior to holding office.

Grimm copped to one count of tax fraud on Dec. 23 last year in a plea deal to avoid a trial on the other 19 charges.

He stepped down on Jan. 5 — just weeks after the indicted legislator sailed to re-election against former Coney Island councilman Domenic Recchia.

During the sentencing, Grimm and his lawyers repeatedly alluded to his service as a Marine, despite the disgraced former lawmaker’s plea to sentence him like a regular Joe.

“As a Marine I was taught ‘You don’t fail,’ ” Grimm said. “I didn’t want to fail. I didn’t have the bravery to fail. Just treat me today like every other restaurant owner.”

Chen responded that Grimm was not an average restaurateur and said she didn’t buy the argument that Grimm cheated on his taxes to preserve his business, noting that the tax fraud was systemic and began before the business began to sink.

Grimm also sought leniency saying he is the sole caretaker and provider for his elderly mother and disabled sister.

But Chen said that Grimm — whose stated net worth is $46,000 and who claimed in court documents to be raking in between $8,000 and $10,000 a month as a consultant — could afford to pay for a caretaker.

Grimm admitted in his plea deal that he lied under oath during a January 2013 civil suit his former employees brought for paying them below minimum wage — just a few days after announcing he was seeking re-election as a congressman — a damming move, Chen said.

“Particularly disturbing is the fact that the lies came a week after he announced his candidacy for congress,” Chen said. “The damage Grimm did goes beyond simple lying, cheating, and stealing from the public.”

Grimm’s lawyers sent Chen a letter from the tax cheat’s mother in a plea for leniency last month. In her letter, Grimm’s mom said her son — a man once caught on tape threatening to throw a reporter off a balcony — was a life long peace-maker and protector of the bullied.

Reach reporter Max Jaeger at mjaeger@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–8303. Follow him on Twitter @JustTheMax.
Updated 5:34 pm, July 20, 2015
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Reader feedback

Bob from Gerritsen Beach says:
Grimm was investigated and found guilty of tax evasion, insurance and immigration fraud and all that it implies and while under investigation and assured of an indictment, runs for political office. Unbelievably wins the election by voters who obviously don't read the papers or listen to the news broadcasts, which forces a reelection at tax payers expense ($25 million) is sentenced only to eight months in a minimum security guesthouse. Two things: that sure is a deterrent for future politicians who want to live outside the law LOL, and this is why we have the government we have today.
July 17, 2015, 7:39 pm
Lowell says:
Why is Grimm in jail for being a tax cheat and Al Sharpton isn't?
July 19, 2015, 5:06 am

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