Grimm: I cheated the tax man

The Brooklyn Paper
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Rep. Michael Grimm (R–Bay Ridge) pleaded guilty to one count of tax fraud in federal court on Tuesday afternoon. The charge carries a penalty of as much as three years in prison.

Grimm had been facing a 20-count indictment for alleged tax, insurance, and immigration fraud during his time as co-owner of a Manhattan health-food restaurant before taking office. A newly filed court document indicates that prosecutors had enough evidence to prove that Grimm hid $900,000 that came into the eatery, Healthalicious, and used the cash to pay employees under the table from 2007 to 2009, then lied about it during a 2013 deposition in a civil suit.

In a brief press conference outside the courthouse, Grimm said he is trying to move on.

“If you do something wrong, you can never fully get past it until you accept full responsibility for it and that’s what I’m doing,” he said. “Although this was a little restaurant, I made some big mistakes.”

Grimm bested Democratic challenger Domenic Recchia in November despite the looming charges, and said during an October debate that he would step down from office if he was “unable to serve.” He reiterated the sentiment outside the courthouse on Tuesday.

“As I said before, as long as I’m able to serve, I will serve,” he said.

His sentencing is set for June 8, 2015.

The pol, a former FBI agent who once went undercover as a crooked stockbroker named “Mikey Suits,” has been under fire since 2012, when the FBI charged an ally with campaign fund-raising shenanigans. Two involved in separate shady fund-raising schemes have since pleaded guilty, but Grimm has professed to know nothing about the funny money. In January of this year, three months before his formal indictment, Grimm threatened an NY1 reporter asking about the investigation into his management of Healthalicious, saying he would break him “in half — like a boy.”

Grimm, who also represents the rugged lands of Shaolin, commonly referred to as Staten Island, dismissed the pall surrounding his time in office by saying that it has been created by political foes.

“For the past four years I’ve been a very effective, strong member of Congress who has served the people of Staten Island,” he said. “I know some are going to use this for political purposes like they did for the past three years.”

If Grimm remains free, he could continue to hold office. In such a scenario, it would be up to his congressional colleagues to expel, censure, or fine him. He could also be stripped of his ability to vote in Congress, but remain in office.

Congress has only expelled five members in its history, including three during the Civil War for “disloyalty to the Union.”

U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch, now President Obama’s pick for attorney general, is overseeing the case against Grimm. A lone protester who a judge tossed from the courtroom for holding a sign reading “Grimminal” said that the plea deal is a bum deal for New Yorkers.

“The prosecution had all the cards and they gave the game away,” said Staten Island resident Mike May. “Justice was not served.”

May said Grimm will be busy with legal problems and unable to work effectively for the people that elected him. Plus, he added, Grimm is only ever looking out for number one.

“Not only can he not do the people’s work, he is not interested in doing the people’s work,” he said.

Reach reporter Noah Hurowitz at or by calling (718) 260–4505. Follow him on Twitter @noahhurowitz
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018: Comments added from Mike May.
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Reasonable discourse

John from Bay Ridge says:
Mikey Suits! Now he has real tough guy cred. This is like a goombah graduation.
Dec. 23, 2014, 9:43 am
Ed from Bay Ridge says:
Always a class act ...
Dec. 23, 2014, 12:06 pm
ty from pps says:
These plea deals piss me off... I get the purpose and mechanics, but TWENTY-count indictment to ONE?!!

Dec. 23, 2014, 12:24 pm
ty from pps says:
"He could also be stripped of his ability to vote in Congress, but remain in office."

And, I'm sure the upstanding gentleman would do the right thing and step down so his district would not be disenfranchised... right? No, I agree. He would stay put and collect his paycheck.
Dec. 23, 2014, 12:26 pm
John from Bay Ridge says:
Maybe he'll offer to throw the judge off a balcony...

Dec. 23, 2014, 1:10 pm
bkmanhatman from nubrucklyn says:
what kind of people voted this slime back in office? You people who did should be ashamed of yourselves.
Dec. 23, 2014, 2:14 pm
jerry from b.r. says:
Thank you, SI, for giving us this sleazy piece of spit.
Dec. 23, 2014, 4:11 pm
ty from pps says:
Give him the Charles Rangel award!
Dec. 23, 2014, 6:17 pm
The Chooch from this side of Mookland says:
Problem is, SI isn't gentrified enough. Farther out into mookland you get, the more corruption, the less transparency, the more goombahs. But we're working on that.
Dec. 23, 2014, 6:51 pm
Jay from Nyc says:
This is an example of exactly what is wrong with our current gov, congress has a disapproval rating over 90%, this guy is going to mail, and xespite that 90% of congress gets reelected anyway, the end result being our "elections" are on par with the old soviet "elections of the u.s.s.r.
Dec. 24, 2014, 9 am
Me from Bay Ridge says:
Wow, Chooch, there must be an unlimited supply of gentry out there. Could the gentry should be prosecuted for paying taxes their nannies off books? Imagine how that would add up!
Dec. 24, 2014, 9:05 am

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