The DNAinfo archives brought to you by WNYC.
Read the press release here.

Former Rep. Grimm Pays Off Full Restitution for Tax Fraud Conviction

By Nicholas Rizzi | June 28, 2017 9:53am
 Former Rep. Michael Grimm fully paid off his restitution for his tax fraud conviction on June 20, 2017.
Former Rep. Michael Grimm fully paid off his restitution for his tax fraud conviction on June 20, 2017.
View Full Caption
DNAinfo/Nicholas Rizzi

STATEN ISLAND — Disgraced Congressman Michael Grimm last week paid off the full balance of the restitution for his tax fraud conviction, after federal authorities tried to seize the rental income of his home over the timing of payments, according to court documents.

Grimm paid the $138,000 balance of his restitution June 20, weeks after a judge ruled federal authorities could garnish the rental income of his New Springville home because authorities claimed he hadn't made a payment in more than 30 days, court documents show.

Earlier this month, the Daily News, DNAinfo, the Staten Island Advance and other news outlets reported that Grimm was late on his bills, citing federal court documents.

But in a long, outraged column that ran this past Sunday in the Staten Island Advance, Grimm claimed the Advance ran a "completely false story" because he was actually up-to-date on his payments.

"They know the truth now, which everyone would have known if reporters and their editors had made any attempt whatsoever to corroborate their fake news story: I'm up to date on all my payments and was current prior to the motion being filed," Grimm wrote.

Michael Grimm Restitution Documents by DNAinfoNewYork on Scribd

Grimm claimed that he had receipts to prove he was up to date on his $1,000 monthly payments and the federal government did not wait to see if he was delinquent on them before filing the motion.

However, federal prosecutors said they could not give out information about Grimm's prior payment history. No court documents could be located by DNAinfo to support his claims. Neither Grimm nor his lawyer responded to multiple requests from DNAinfo for comment over a two-day period for this story.

Court documents said that Grimm submitted his full payment for the restitution on June 20.

In his letter to the Advance, Grimm wrote that he was only targeted because federal authorities were "out to get me."

"I believe with all my heart that if I was a Democrat, I never would have been investigated in the first place," Grimm wrote.

Grimm — who once threatened, on camera, to throw a NY1 reporter off a balcony for asking a question — also blasted the media for not reaching out to him for stories.

Grimm, 47, pleaded guilty to tax fraud in 2014 for underreporting more than $1 million in profits at an Upper East Side eatery he co-owned before he took office.

In his statement to the Advance, Grimm continually downplayed his federal conviction — for which he spent nearly seven months in prison — and said he should have just been slapped with a civil fine for paying "three delivery boys and a kitchen worker off the books."

He also claimed that he was the first person in the city to be criminally charged with tax fraud for paying workers off-the-books, though court documents from federal authorities prove otherwise.

In a filing by feds against Grimm's claim of selected prosecution, they pointed towards several similar cases around the country, including some against Democrats. One is the 2007 federal conviction of Phillip Calasuonno who filed false tax returns for paying workers off-the-books at his Queens businesses, according to court documents and reports.

Despite his repeated insistence that he was unfairly targeted and committed only a minor offense, Judge Pamela Chen previously ripped into him at his sentencing saying he should know better because of his history with the FBI.

"Your moral compass, Mr. Grimm, needs some reorientation," Chen said during the sentencing.

"He was actively perpetrating fraud on a regular or weekly basis."

Since Grimm's release, he has penned op-eds claiming he was "demonized" by the media but was on track to make a return to his usual "level of excellence," urged President Donald Trump to "fight fire with fire," and is rumored to be weighing a run again Borough President James Oddo in a GOP primary.