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Former NY Congressman Draws Prison Sentence for Tax Evasion

  • VOA News

FILE - Rep. Michael Grimm speaks to reporters outside federal court in Brooklyn after pleading guilty to a federal tax evasion charge rather than go to trial, in New York, Dec. 23, 2014.

FILE - Rep. Michael Grimm speaks to reporters outside federal court in Brooklyn after pleading guilty to a federal tax evasion charge rather than go to trial, in New York, Dec. 23, 2014.

A former U.S. congressman from New York was sentenced Friday to eight months in prison for tax evasion.

Michael Grimm, a Republican who represented the New York City borough of Staten Island, pleaded guilty last year of filing a false tax return.

A Brooklyn court judge said Grimm's "moral compass" needed adjustment.

Prosecutors had sought at least two years behind bars, while defense lawyers called on the judge not to impose prison time, saying Grimm's crime was an "aberration" in a life of public service.

Prosecutors accused Grimm of underreporting nearly $1 million in employee wages at a restaurant he co-owned, in part by paying illegal immigrant workers in cash.

Grimm won re-election last year despite his indictment on federal tax evasion charges. He stepped down from his office in December after pressure from Republican leadership.

The tax evasion charges stemmed from an investigation into the lawmaker's campaign financing.

Grimm gained notoriety when he threatened to throw a local reporter off the balcony of the Capitol for asking about the campaign finance investigation.

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