Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) was indicted Monday on 20 counts, including mail fraud and perjury, relating to his former ownership of a Manhattan restaurant.
The former FBI agent reportedly turned himself in to authorities Monday morning and was transported to FBI headquarters in Manhattan, just hours before the 29-page indictment was unsealed.
Grimm allegedly paid some employees of his fast-food restaurant Healthalicious in cash and, as outlined in the indictment, “concealed over $1,000,000 in Healthalicious gross receipts alone, as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars of employees’ wages, fraudulently depriving the federal and New York State governments of sales, income and payroll taxes.”
The indictment charges Grimm lied under oath in January last year when he denied paying his employees in cash.
Grimm, a supporter of immigration reform, also allegedly “intentionally” hired illegal immigrants and engaged “in a pattern and practice of such hiring and continued employment.”
At a press conference Monday addressing the charges, FBI Assistant Director George Venizelo said Grimm “was anything but an upstanding citizen. He cheated, evaded and then lied.”
Grimm’s attorney, William McGinley, on Friday asserted the congressman’s innocence and said in a statement that “we are disappointed by the government’s decision, but hardly surprised.” He charged that the government had “pursued a politically driven vendetta against” Grimm “and not an independent search for the truth.”
McGinley said Friday Grimm has no plans to resign, but the charges further complicate GOP efforts to hold the seat, which, as a swing district, is a top Democratic target. Democrats are running former New York City Councilman Domenich Recchia in the race. The Hill