8-month sentence: Michael Grimm Politician
Published: July 18, 2015
8-month sentence: Michael Grimm Politician, Michael Grimm was sentenced to eight months in prison after pleading guilty to tax fraud, in which he hid over $1 million in receipts from a Manhatan restaurant he owned.
Disgraced former Rep. Michael Grimm got eight months in prison and a dressing-down Friday from a Brooklyn judge short on sympathy for the tough-guy pol’s plea to evade jail.
“Your moral compass, Mr. Grimm, needs some reorientation,” Brooklyn Federal Judge Pamela Chen said in sentencing the Staten Island Republican.
Grimm, 45, pleaded guilty in December to tax evasion for hiding around $1 million in receipts from Healthalicious, a Manhattan restaurant he owned. He also admitted he lied under oath in 2013 in a separate civil case.
The plea capped a controversial four year tenure in Congress, most of which Grimm spent under the shadow of a federal investigation initially focused on allegations of illegal fundraising in his 2010 campaign.
Grimm raised his profile when he threatened to throw a NY1 reporter who asked about the probe off a balcony in a House office building minutes after President Obama’s 2013 State of the Union address.
He was indicted in April 2014, but won reelection last year, only to resign less than two months later after his guilty plea.
Grimm, looking well-tanned, didn’t help himself with an emotional courtroom speech that seemed to irk Chen.
“My entire life, I have scraped and I have clawed and I have killed myself to better myself,” said Grimm, whose lawyers highlighted his combat experience in the Marines during the Gulf War.
“A Marine is taught not to fail,” he said. “I was ashamed to fail.”
He suggested that he was singled out for a common practice in the business.
“The harsh reality is that if you own a restaurant in Manhattan and you have delivery boys, you have to pay off the books or you close,” Grimm said.
He noted he resigned from Congress and said: “I made a bad decision that I will regret for the rest of my life.”
Chen called his remorse belated and inadequate.
“What the defendant and his partners did was steal from the government and the public,” she said.
Grimm’s loss of his job and pension “are not punishments,” Chen said. “They are collateral consequences of his crimes.”
The judge noted Grimm’s experience as an FBI agent investigating white-collar crime meant “he of all people should have known better.”
Grimm who reports earning $10,000 a month since his resignation as consultant for startup firms, is set to turn himself in after Labor Day.
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