Author Topic: Feds readying criminal charges against Rep. Grimm (R-NY)  (Read 281 times)

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Offline rangerrebew

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Feds readying criminal charges against Rep. Grimm (R-NY)
« on: April 26, 2014, 05:37:06 AM »


April 25, 2014, 06:31 pm
Feds ready to indict Rep. Grimm
   
 

By Alexandra Jaffe


Attorney: Prosecutors Plan To File Charges Against Rep. Michael Grimm For Alleged Campaign Finance Violations


Federal prosecutors are readying criminal charges against Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) following a two-year FBI investigation into alleged misuse of campaign funds and improper business dealings by the congressman.

The New York Republican is a top Democratic target too, and the impending indictment further complicates GOP efforts to hold onto the Staten Island-based swing district.


Grimm’s attorney, William McGinley, confirmed the proceedings in a statement, which said the congressman “asserts his innocence of any wrongdoing” He added that “we are disappointed by the government’s decision, but hardly surprised" saying they had "pursued a politically driven vendetta against" Grimm "and not an independent search for the truth."

“After more than two years of investigation plagued by malicious leaks, violations of grand jury secrecy, and strong-arm tactics, the U.S. Attorney’s Office has disclosed its intent to file criminal charges against Congressman Grimm,” McGinley said.

“When the dust settles, he will be vindicated. Until then, he will continue to serve his constituents with the same dedication and tenacity that has characterized his lifetime of public service as a Member of Congress, Marine Corps combat veteran, and decorated FBI Special Agent,” McGinley concluded.

Grimm has been under investigation for a range of allegations surrounding his business dealings and campaign finances, and drew increased scrutiny after a donor and close friend of the congressman was charged with funneling illegal contributions to Grimm's campaign.
He also sparked negative headlines earlier this year after he was caught on tape threatening to throw a reporter over a balcony in a House office building after the reporter asked about the ongoing investigations.

But the upcoming charges against the congressman are expected to surround Grimm’s previous business dealings and, according to CNN, “alleged false statements he provided to the government” about them.

The federal investigation has also focused on Grimm’s relationship with Ofer Biton, a donor who pleaded guilty last year to falsifying documents for a visa application. Biton helped Grimm raise more than half a million in donations, some of which were allegedly improper.

CNN is reporting that the charges could be filed as early as next week.

First elected in 2010, Grimm is a top Democratic target this cycle, partly because of the investigations he's been facing. He represents a swing district that went for President Obama in 2012, a year that Grimm won reelection by just 5 points.

Democrats have touted New York City Councilman Domenic Recchia as a top recruit, and he's banked over $1 million for the contest. Grimm, who spent $50,000 of campaign funds on legal fees the first two months of 2014, has nearly $1.2 million on hand but also has over $450,000 in debt.

—Russell Berman contributed reporting.

This post was updated at 7:45 p.m.
.

Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/house-races/204427-feds-readying-criminal-charges-against-grimm#ixzz2zz2eM8ot
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« Last Edit: April 26, 2014, 05:38:16 AM by rangerrebew »
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Offline massadvj

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Re: Feds readying criminal charges against Rep. Grimm (R-NY)
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2014, 08:03:57 AM »
Couldn't happen to a nicer guy.
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Offline mountaineer

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Re: Feds readying criminal charges against Rep. Grimm (R-NY)
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2014, 09:13:34 AM »
Congressman Michael Grimm to be indicted
By Carl Campanile, Jamie Schram and Geoff Earle
April 25, 2014 | 5:23pm
New York Post

Quote
Staten Island Rep. Michael Grimm will be indicted following a two-year federal investigation of his business dealings and fund-raising activities, his attorney said Friday.

The charges against the former FBI agent and Marine are being handled by the US Attorney Loretta Lynch in Brooklyn, who has scrutinized more than $500,000 in campaign contributions the two-term GOP congressman raised with the help of an Israeli citizen named Ofer Biton.

But a law-enforcement source said the charges will be related to Grimm’s “shady restaurant dealings.”

Before he went to Washington in 2010, Grimm was a partner in an Upper East Side eatery called Healthalicious with Bennett Orfaly, who had ties to the Gambino crime family.

The congressman’s lawyer claimed the feds were conducting a witch hunt.

“After more than two years of investigation plagued by malicious leaks, violations of grand-jury secrecy, and strong-arm tactics, the US Attorney’s Office has disclosed its intent to file criminal charges against Congressman Grimm,” lawyer William McGinley said in a statement late Friday.

“We are disappointed by the government’s decision, but hardly surprised. From the beginning, the government has pursued a politically driven vendetta against Congressman Grimm and not an independent search for the truth. Congressman Grimm asserts his innocence of any wrongdoing.”

Federal agents have been looking into Grimm for at least two years, including his link to Biton, an Israeli citizen who pleaded guilty to a visa violation last year.

Grimm relied on Biton’s connections to raise more than $500,000 from followers of a mystical New York City rabbi named Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto. Many of those donations were suspected to be in violation of campaign finance laws.

The timing of the impending indictment could not have come at a worse time for Republicans. It’s unlikely that Grimm’s criminal case will be resolved before the November election, so the GOP could be stuck with a damaged incumbent on the ballot.

Staten Island Republican chairman John Antoniello declined comment on whether he would try to replace Grimm as the party’s candidate.

Grimm was already facing a strong challenge from former Brooklyn Democratic Councilman Domenic Recchia. The district covers south Brooklyn as well as Staten Island.

“They are drinking champagne at Recchia’s HQ,” a Democratic source said.
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Offline jmyrlefuller

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Re: Feds readying criminal charges against Rep. Grimm (R-NY)
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2014, 10:19:34 AM »
First Fossella, and now this guy. I always knew Staten Island was a bit of a cesspool, but this is ridiculous!
"Just because people in positions of authority are stupid, it doesn’t mean you have to go along with it." —Arlo Guthrie

Offline mountaineer

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Re: Feds readying criminal charges against Rep. Grimm (R-NY)
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2014, 08:37:28 AM »
Grimm indictment is pre-election plot by Democrats: GOP
By Michael Gartland and Kevin Fasick
NY Post
April 27, 2014 | 3:04am


It’s all a Democratic plot.

So say bitter Republican and Conservative leaders of the Justice Department’s plan to slam Rep. Michael Grimm with an indictment, to be unsealed Monday.

Guy Molinari, a former Staten Island congressman and one of Grimm’s key ­advisers, even pinned the conspiracy on Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer.

“Schumer has a lot to do with it,” said Molinari, also a former state assemblyman and former Staten Island borough president. “I’ve worked with him in the Assembly, and I’ve worked with him in Congress. I know him well. I know what makes the beast tick. It’s a witch hunt — a political witch hunt.”

The 85-year-old firebrand Republican declined to offer specifics on why he thinks Schumer is behind Grimm’s legal woes.

“This accusation is laughable and yet another complete figment of Guy Molinari’s imagination,” said Schumer spokeswoman Meredith Kelly.

But other GOP and Conservative leaders insisted the timing of the indictment — coming after the April 14 deadline passed for Grimm to take himself off the ballot — is “fishy,” essentially preventing them from finding a more viable candidate.

Grimm, 44, in his second term representing Staten Island and southern Brooklyn, is being challenged by Democratic former City Councilman Domenic Recchia in November.

The expected indictment follows a two-year investigation of his business dealings and campaign fund-raising. Brooklyn US Attorney Loretta Lynch will handle the charges against the former FBI agent and Marine.

Sources told the Post Saturday that Brooklyn accountant Wayne Muratore, who handled the books for Grimm’s eatery and his 2010 campaign, was quizzed by the Feds. He did not return messages or answer his door yesterday.

State Conservative Party Chairman Michael Long said the fact that the feds waited until after ballot deadlines to indict “clearly speaks to some political shenanigans.”

“The federal government did this right after the final days of the political calendar,” said Brooklyn Conservative Party Chairman Jerry Kassar. “It’s politically motivated.”

Grimm has been scrutinized for more than $500,000 in campaign contributions he raised with the help of an Israeli citizen, Ofer Biton. But a source said the charges have to do with Grimm’s “shady restaurant dealings.”

Grimm was a partner in an Upper East Side restaurant called Healthalicious with Bennett Orfaly, who had ties to the Gambino crime family.

Grimm met with lawyers and Staten Island GOP chairman John Antoniello Saturday, but ducked reporters.
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Offline jmyrlefuller

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Re: Feds readying criminal charges against Rep. Grimm (R-NY)
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2014, 08:54:41 AM »
The timing certainly is suspicious. It always seems the big GOP scandals around here happen immediately after the ballot line is secured.
"Just because people in positions of authority are stupid, it doesn’t mean you have to go along with it." —Arlo Guthrie


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