New York's 11th District (NY - 11)
The company Michael Grimm keeps makes you wonder about his character. Grimm’s friend, business partner and close campaign aide spent years in prison for stealing money from Texas homeowners. Another of Grimm’s business partners and campaign fundraiser is under FBI investigation for embezzlement. One of Grimm’s staffers was arrested outside of a school. And Grimm wrote a letter on behalf of a noted fraudster to reduce his prison time after he was caught in a massive bribery scheme.
Grimm Called Carlos Luquis “A Friend In Need.” In February 2012, Grimm continued to defend his partnership with Carlos Luquis as “helping a friend in need.” “That’s who Michael Grimm is,” he said. “When the times are down, that’s when you know who your friends are. And that’s who I am.” [City And State, 2/21/12]
Luquis Was Grimm’s Business Partner. In February 2012, the Times reported that shortly after leaving the F.B.I., Grimm worked in real estate, investing about $1 million of borrowed money in a luxury development in Texas. Grimm chose to work with Carlos Luquis, a former F.B.I. agent who had served with him in New York, even though he was under indictment on state racketeering and fraud charges. Shortly afterward, Carlos Luquis was convicted for his role in skimming $2 million from Texans’ electric bills, and served 18 months in prison. Grimm, however, went on to do business with Luquis and his wife in two other companies. [New York Times, 2/15/12]
Luquis Was “Intimately Involved” in Grimm Campaign. “A convicted felon who worked with GOP Rep. Michael Grimm's energy company was also ‘intimately’ involved in the congressman's House campaign last year and was well known by top Grimm supporters like former Borough President Guy Molinari, the Advance has learned. In an e-mail, a source describing themself as a ‘disgruntled campaign supporter’ said that the felon, Carlos Luquis, was frequently seen driving then-candidate Grimm to campaign events in Brooklyn and Staten Island, and working at Grimm's Island headquarters in New Dorp.” [Staten Island Advance, 8/21/12]
Ofer Biton Helped Grimm Raise Money from Pinto Followers. In January 2012, the New York Times reported that Grimm had allegedly engaged in illegal fundraising practices during his 2010 campaign, including taking contributions in excess of federal limits, taking contributions from foreign nationals, and setting up “straw donors.” The charges stem from Grimm’s efforts, with the assistance of an Israeli national named Ofer Biton, to raise money from the followers of prominent Orthodox rabbi Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto. The report was based on findings from more than 15 interviews with Pinto followers and close scrutiny of Grimm’s campaign finance records. [New York Times, 1/27/12]
Biton Now Under Investigation by FBI. According to the Times’ report, Biton is an Israeli citizen and is currently under investigation by the FBI and federal prosecutors “over accusations that he embezzled millions of dollars from [Pinto’s] congregation.” “Grimm and Biton were together all the time during the campaign,” said Yossi Zaga, a Pinto follower who donated $4,800 to Grimm at Biton’s urging. “They would drive around together to the homes and offices and ask for contributions.” [New York Times, 1/27/12]
Red AlertUpdated: Oct 27, 2012
Michael Grimm voted for a plan that the Wall Street Journal says “would essentially end Medicare,” and force seniors to pay $6,400 more each year for out of pocket healthcare expenses while giving tax breaks to millionaires.
Voted For Ryan Budget That “Would Essentially End Medicare.” On April 15, 2011, Grimm voted for the Republican budget plan authored by Rep. Paul Ryan. The Wall Street Journal wrote, “The plan would essentially end Medicare, which now pays most of the health-care bills for 48 million elderly and disabled Americans, as a program that directly pays those bills.” [H Con. Res. 34, Vote #277, 4/15/11; Wall Street Journal, 4/04/11]
Ryan Budget Gives Tax Breaks To Millionaires, $6,400 Medical Bill To Seniors. “People with incomes over $1 million would receive average tax cuts of $125,000 a year” under the Ryan budget plan, but the average senior’s annual out-of-pocket costs would more than double – from $6,150 to $12,500, or by $6,350. [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 4/20/11, 4/07/11]