Tuesday, April 29, 2014

NY lawmaker charged with fraud, cites 'witch hunt'

NEW YORK (AP) - Republican U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm, a former Marine and FBI agent who's been the target of a campaign finance investigation, was instead charged on Monday with evading taxes by concealing more than $1 million in sales and wages while running a small Manhattan restaurant - a case he called a political witch hunt meant to drive him out of office.

Grimm surrendered to FBI agents early Monday following a two-year investigation that initially focused on alleged attempts to bypass contribution limits. He pleaded not guilty through his lawyer in federal court in Brooklyn to mail, wire and tax fraud charges and was released on $400,000 bond secured by his Staten Island home.

The lawmaker, using a World War II memorial across the street from the courthouse as a backdrop, later accused prosecutors of leaking "all kinds of innuendos and accusations to support a political witch hunt" intended to "assassinate my character." He vowed to return to work in Congress while fighting the charges.

"I know I'm a moral man, a man of integrity," he added. "And I also know I have a lot more service and leadership to provide this country, and that's exactly what I intend to do."



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