The Republican Congressman for Staten Island, Michael Grimm, surrendered to federal authorities on Monday, April 28 to answer to an investigation against him on 20 charges of fraud and perjury, among others.
The accusations revealed by case prosecutors make references to the restaurant "Healthlicious", which Grimm owned before going into Congress, in 2011. Grimm is accused of conspiring to defraud the United States, the IRS, and the health system, besides other charges of postal fraud, perjury and hiring undocumented workers, according to Reuters.
Forty-four years old, Grimm is a former Marine, and a former FBI agent and represents a district which covers southern Staten Island and Brooklyn, and accusations against him are the result of a two years long investigation that also revealed that Grimm's restaurant, which operated between 2007 and 2010, hid income for over a million dollars from federal and state authorities.
The deputy director of the FBI, George Venizelos, in charge of taking him into custody, told the media that:
"As a former FBI agent, Representative Grimm should understand the motto: fidelity, bravery, integrity. However, he broke our motto almost completely. In this accusation of 20 charges, Representative Grimm lived with a new motto: fraud, perjury and obstruction," quoted ABC.
"We demand the best from our political leaders. However, today, we are still expecting, and with good reason, more. As citizens of this great nation we have the right to demand it," Venizelos said.
The Republican representative, however, plead not guilty to all the charges and was set free after paying a $400,000 bail.
If found guilty, Michael Grimm could face a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.