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.
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.
©2015 Community News Group
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