Rep. Michael Grimm Could Face 257 Years in Prison For Tax Evasion, Perjury and Fraud
Representative Michael Grimm surrendered to the FBI on Monday morning on 20 -- count 'em! -- federal charges, including "five counts of mail fraud, five counts of wire fraud, three counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation of false federal tax returns, one count of conspiring to defraud the United States, one count of impeding the Internal Revenue Service, one count of health care fraud, one count of engaging in a pattern or practice of hiring and continuing to employ unauthorized aliens, two counts of perjury and one count of obstructing an official proceeding." O_O
Perhaps most shocking of all is that none of those charges are related to the alleged campaign finance violations for which Grimm is also reportedly under investigation by both the feds and the House Ethics Committee... Questions about which allegations, you may recall, prompted Grimm to threaten to throw a NY1 reporter "off this fucking balcony" at the State of the Union in January.
No, these particular charges are related to a restaurant called Healthalicious that Grimm managed before he was even elected to Congress. Grimm, who has represented Staten Island and parts of Brooklyn since 2011, is a republican, and the only one who represents any part of New York City.
After leaving the FBI where he worked as an undercover agent in 2006, Grimm opened Healthalicious on the Upper East Side. (If you're mildly repulsed by the name alone your instincts are serving you well. The Yelp reviews are very bad: "Long story short: This place put me in the hospital with the worst food poisoning I've ever had..." "...The guy who was preparing my salad was using one hand to prepare it and the other hand to pick his nose. No gloves..." "...I just can't excuse this kind of mediocrity...")
The U.S. attorney alleges that between 2007 and 2010, when Grimm was managing operations at the restaurant, he paid his employees (many of whom were not legal citizens) under the table in cash, and, in turn, vastly underreported to the government the amount he owed in payroll taxes, state taxes and federal taxes. (He underreported workers wages to the New York State Insurance Fund and, as a result, paid less in workers' compensation premiums too.) The U.S. attorney's office estimates Grimm concealed over $1 million in sales and wages from the government.
If you're having trouble following along, here's a handy graphic courtesy of the U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of New York.
Oh, and those perjury and obstruction of justice charges?