Ex-Congressman Gets Jail, Scolding Over Tax Fraud

Judge tells Michael Grimm his 'moral compass' needs 'reorientation'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 17, 2015 2:00 PM CDT
Ex-Congressman Gets Jail, Scolding Over Tax Fraud
Former US Rep. Michael Grimm, center, leaves following his sentencing at federal court today in Brooklyn, NY.   (AP Photo/Kevin Hagen)

Michael Grimm, the former Republican New York congressman who once threatened to throw a reporter off a balcony, was sentenced today to eight months in prison for federal tax fraud, the Hill reports; prosecutors had sought between two and two-and-a-half years—slightly less than the three-year maximum. While Grimm asked Judge Pamela Chen to "give me the opportunity to redeem myself," per the New York Times, Chen laid into him for charges that he paid restaurant workers off the books, saying, "That this type of crime is common does not lessen its significance. Your moral compass, Mr. Grimm, needs some reorientation."

New York Rep. Guy Molinari, a friend of Grimm's, and Grimm's lawyers had pleaded he lived "an otherwise remarkable life lived in selfless service of his country," per a sentencing memo filed earlier this year, the Hill notes. But the IRS criminal investigation chief disagreed, praising the sentence in a DOJ statement today in which he noted, "Tax crimes are not victimless crimes and Grimm's actions harmed the very citizens he was elected to serve. … We all must play by the same rules." (Grimm has quite the "fiery" reputation.)

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