Campaign 2010

Aug 19, 2013

Grimm’s latest legal troubles make waves

Congressman Michael Grimm’s former fundraiser pleaded guilty to fraud on Friday and the news has reverberated in local and national press.  Ofer Biton, who raised hundreds of thousands for Grimm, was arrested last year amid an investigation into illegal donations directed to Grimm’s campaign. 

The FBI investigation into Grimm’s fundraising operation continues, his top campaign fundraiser has pled guilty and he faces over $400,000 in mounting legal debt.

  • Ofer Biton, 2010 fund-raiser for Staten Island Rep. Michael Grimm, pleads guilty to fraud [Staten Island Advance, 8/18/13]
  • Guilty plea for ex-fundraiser for NY US Rep. Grimm [Associated Press, 8/17/13]
  • Ofer Biton, associate of Rep. Grimm, pleads guilty to visa fraud [New York Daily News, 8/16/13]
  • Former Fund-Raiser for Grimm Pleads Guilty to Visa Fraud [New York Times, 8/16/13]
  • Michael Grimm fundraiser pleads guilty to visa violation [Politico, 8/16/13]

BACKGROUND

Rabbi Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto’s Followers “Spoke Repeatedly About the Close Ties Between Mr. Grimm And Mr. Biton.”  “In interviews, followers of [Rabbi Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto] spoke repeatedly about the close ties between Mr. Grimm and Mr. Biton. ‘Grimm and Biton were together all the time during the campaign,’ said one of the followers, Yossi Zaga, a real estate investor who donated $4,800, the legal limit, to Mr. Grimm at Mr. Biton’s urging. ‘They would drive around together to the homes and offices and ask for contributions.’” [New York Times, 1/27/12]


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