BROOKLYN, N.Y. – U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY-11) pleaded guilty to a count of felony tax fraud in Brooklyn federal court on Tuesday, but said that he had no plans to resign.
The Republican congressman was indicted in April on 20 counts of misconduct in connection with a Manhattan health food restaurant he co-owned before he became a member of Congress. Grimm specifically plead guilty to aiding the preparation of a false tax return in connection with the restaurant. Trial had been scheduled for February.
Grimm admitted that he had made “off the books” payments to the restaurant’s employees, and that he had under-reported nearly $1 million in gross receipts to the IRS and New York state tax collectors.
Grimm, 44, is a former FBI agent who served as a U.S. Marine, and he campaigned as a law-and-order corruption fighter when he was first elected to Congress in 2010. He won re-election in his district, which includes all of the New York City borough of Staten Island and parts of neighboring Brooklyn, by a wide margin in November despite his federal indictment.
According to news reports, Grimm said “I’m going to get back to work and work as hard as I can” when asked if he would resign.
Grimm created controversy earlier this year in January, when he was recorded on camera threatening to throw a reporter off of a balcony and break him “in half, like a boy.” The congressman later apologized.
Grimm could face a maximum prison sentence of three years, followed by a year of supervised release. He is scheduled to be sentenced on June 8.