Former New York City Department of Education CEO of School Support Services and Three Executives of SOMMA Food Group Convicted of Extortion Conspiracy and Bribery
Earlier today in federal court in Brooklyn, former United States Congressman Michael Grimm was sentenced to a term of incarceration of eight months of incarceration in connection with his conviction for aiding and assisting the preparation of a false tax return. Grimm served as a member of the United States House of Representatives representing New York’s 11th Congressional District, which includes the borough of Staten Island and parts of the borough of Brooklyn, from January 2011 to January 2015. Grimm was sentenced by the Honorable Pamela K. Chen, United States District Judge, Eastern District of New York. The Court also sentenced the defendant to 200 hours of community service.
The sentence was announced by Kelly T. Currie, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Diego Rodriguez, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), New York Field Office, and Richard Weber, Chief, IRS- Criminal Investigation.
“This prosecution and sentence should be a reminder to those in positions of trust that we and our partners in the FBI and IRS will vigorously pursue whomever commits fraud,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Currie. Mr. Currie expressed his grateful appreciation to the Public Integrity Section of Department of Justice, the Northern Criminal Enforcement Section of the Tax Division of the Department of Justice, the New York State Insurance Fund, the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, and the New York State Department of Labor for their assistance in the investigation.
FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Rodriguez stated, “Grimm didn’t serve his community with honor; he instead engaged in criminal activity to the detriment of the public trust. Today’s sentence should send a message that this type of behavior will not be tolerated, especially when public officials break the law. The FBI and our partners at the IRS will continue our efforts to identify fraudulent practices carried out by elected representatives and free the system from the consequences of their actions.”
“Former Congressman Grimm made a conscious decision to break the law and benefit personally by underreporting $900,000 in restaurant gross receipts and lowering payroll taxes through 'off-the-book' payments, then lying under oath to conceal his criminal activity,” said IRS-Criminal Investigation Chief Weber. “Tax crimes are not victimless crimes and Grimm’s actions harmed the very citizens he was elected to serve. We expect all taxpayers to follow the law—whether you are a business owner, individual, or elected official—we all must play by the same rules.”
In connection with his guilty plea on December 23, 2014, Grimm entered into a stipulation of facts acknowledging the scope of his criminal conduct. As part of that stipulation of facts, Grimm admitted that:
The government’s case is being prosecuted by the Office’s Public Integrity Section. Assistant United States Attorneys James Gatta and Nathan Reilly are in charge of the prosecution.
Staten Island, New York
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 14-CR-248 (PKC)
In addition to the term of incarceration, the Court ordered Grimm to pay restitution to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, and the New York State Insurance Fund (NYSIF) in a total amount to be determined after sentencing.