Former Rep. Michael Grimm sentenced to 8 months in prison for tax evasion

Grimm's lawyers asked the judge to spare him a prison term, while prosecutors argued he deserved at least two years behind bars.

Brendan McDermid/Reuters
Former US Representative Michael Grimm (R) of New York arrives at the Brooklyn Federal Courthouse in the Brooklyn Borough of New York on Friday. Mr. Grimm, was sentenced to eight months in prison for aiding the preparation of a false tax return in connection with a health food restaurant.

Former US Representative Michael Grimm (R) of New York was sentenced Friday to eight months in prison for tax evasion.

The sentencing follows his guilty plea issued last December when he admitted to underreporting employee wages at a restaurant he co-owned from 2007 until 2010.

An indictment accused him of underreporting more than $1 million in wages and receipts to evade payroll, income, and sales taxes.

The accusations are related to a Manhattan eatery Healthalicious in which Mr. Grimm started investing after retiring from the FBI.

The Christian Science Monitor’s Peter Grier reported in April 2014:

“According to court documents... Representative Grimm engaged in a complex scheme that hid more than $1 million in Healthalicious receipts from tax authorities. Employees were paid with bills skimmed from the restaurant cash register; some got more than half their pay in cash, according to federal authorities. Grimm kept a separate set of books that tracked the restaurant’s true financial condition, and lied under oath when questioned on the matter after former employees sued, saying they had not been paid minimum wage.”

The charge stemmed from an investigation into the Staten Island Republican's campaign financing.

When a TV reporter asked him about a federal investigation into his campaign finances in January 2014, Grimm threatened to throw the reporter off the balcony. “I’ll break you in half. Like a boy,” Grimm said.

That investigation led to the indictment and three months prison sentence of Grimm’s former fundraiser Diana Durand.

Grimm, who joined Congress in 2011, was the only Republican in the New York City congressional delegation.

The 45-year-old won re-election last November while fighting 20 federal charges, including allegations that he hired illegal immigrants and paid employees under the table. He resigned in late December.

Court papers show that defense lawyers had asked the judge to spare Grimm a prison term, calling his offense “an aberration in an otherwise remarkable life in selfless service of his country,” but prosecutors argued he deserved at least two years behind bars.

This report includes material from Reuters and the Associated Press.

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