New York Rep. Michael Grimm was arrested Monday morning, a source familiar with the matter confirmed to Fox News, as federal prosecutors prepare to announce charges against the Republican congressman.
Grimm was transported to FBI headquarters in Manhattan. He had been expected to turn himself in, after learning several days earlier that charges were forthcoming.
The Washington Post reported that the charges to be announced by U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch would be related to the operation of the Upper East Side restaurant, Healthalicious. It was not immediately clear whether the charges would relate to the financing of Grimm’s 2010 congressional campaign, which has been the focus of a long-running FBI investigation.
The Post reported that Healthalicious was fined $88,000 for not providing workers compensation to employees. Workers also reportedly accused the company of not following state wage laws and giving workers cash payments to skirt New York tax and business laws.
Grimm’s attorney confirmed late Friday that federal prosecutors plan to file criminal charges against the congressman.
“We are disappointed by the government’s decision, but hardly surprised,” said the statement from Grimm’s attorney, William McGinley. “From the beginning, the government has pursued a politically driven vendetta against Congressman Grimm and not an independent search for the truth.”
The statement said Grimm “asserts his innocence of any wrongdoing” and “will be vindicated.”
“Until then, he will continue to serve his constituents with the same dedication and tenacity that has characterized his lifetime of public service as a Member of Congress, Marine Corps combat veteran, and decorated FBI Special Agent,” the statement said.
The House Ethics Committee announced in November that Grimm was under investigation for possible campaign finance violations. That committee said it would defer its inquiry because of a separate Department of Justice investigation.
Grimm made headlines in January after confronting a New York City cable news station reporter who tried to question him about a long-running FBI investigation into campaign finance on a balcony in the Capitol.
After reporter Michael Scotto finished his report, Grimm stormed back, leaned into him and said, “Let me be clear to you. If you ever do that to me again, I’ll throw you off this (expletive) balcony.”
Scotto protested, saying he was asking “a valid question.”
During that race, Grimm has acknowledged receiving $250,000 to $300,000 in contributions from followers of an Israeli rabbi, Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto. Some members of Pinto’s congregation subsequently said they made tens of thousands of dollars in illegal contributions, including gifts passed through straw donors.
Grimm has denied knowledge of any improprieties. The Israeli businessman who had served as Grimm’s liaison to Pinto’s followers, Ofer Biton, pleaded guilty in August to an immigration fraud charge.
Three days after that guilty plea, the FBI filed a sealed criminal complaint accusing a Houston woman who had been romantically involved with Grimm of using straw donors to make illegal campaign contributions.
In that case, made public this month, the woman was accused of funneling at least $10,000 to Grimm’s campaign by passing them through friends who agreed to have the donations listed under their names.