Rep. Michael G. Grimm surrendered to the FBI Monday morning to face federal fraud charges relating to a health food restaurant he owned prior to serving in Congress, The Washington Post and other news organizations are reporting.
A source told CQ Roll Call that there is expected to be an 11 a.m. news conference at the headquarters of the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, which has prosecutorial jurisdiction over the matter.
The New York Republican, who represents Staten Island and a portion of Brooklyn, opened Healthalicious in 2006 after he left an FBI posting as an undercover agent looking to suss out white-collar crime on Wall Street.
Grimm’s campaign finances have been the subject of an ongoing investigation for years, but prosecutors have focused on his involvement with the restaurant. Charges from a grand jury indictment are expected to be unsealed today, the New York Daily News reported. Mail and wire fraud and tax-related charges are expected, another source told CQ Roll Call.
Grimm’s lawyer pre-emptively denied the charges on April 25, and Grimm’s legal team did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Monday morning, nor did spokesmen with the U.S. Attorney’s office or the FBI.
The main switchboard at Grimm’s Capitol Hill office went straight to voicemail on Monday morning, and an email to his chief of staff went unanswered at the time of this report.
Republicans are probably stuck with Grimm’s name on the November ballot because the filing deadline has passed in New York. Jerry H. Goldfeder, an attorney specializing in election law, wrote that there appears to be only one way for Grimm to be removed from the ballot if Republicans want to run someone else: have the GOP nominate him to become a New York Supreme Court justice.
Steven T. Dennis contributed to this report.