Wednesday, May 17, 2017
The New York Appellate Division for the Second Judicial Department imposed a four-year suspension of a convicted attorney who had served in Congress
By Indictment 14 Cr. 248, filed on April 25, 2014, the respondent was charged with 20 counts of criminal conduct, which he allegedly committed in his capacity as managing member and partner in Granny Sayz, a limited liability company that did business as a Manhattan restaurant known as Healthalicious. The charges centered on the under-reporting of income, sales, and wages. It was alleged that “[i]n total, Grimm concealed over $1,000,000 in Healthalicious gross receipts alone, as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars of employees’ wages, fraudulently depriving the federal and New York State governments of sales, income, and payroll taxes.”
On December 22, 2014, the respondent executed a plea agreement, wherebyhe agreed to plead guilty to count four of the indictment, which charged him with aiding and assisting in the preparation of false and fraudulent tax returns, in violation of 26 USC § 7206(2). Specifically, count four alleged that the respondent, together with others, provided false and fraudulent tax returns to the Internal Revenue Service that under-reported gross receipts of Granny Sayz and salaries and wages paid to Healthalicious employees for the tax year 2009.
On December 22, 2014, the respondent also executed a document entitled, “Factual Basis for Guilty Plea,” wherein he stipulated that he had committed numerous acts of criminal conduct from 2007 through 2010, in his capacity as a partner in Granny Sayz and as the day-to-day manager of Healthalicious. In addition, he stipulated that on January 30, 2013, during a deposition in relation to a pending civil lawsuit, he testified falsely that Healthalicious employees had not been paid in cash, and that he did not generally correspond through email about its business.
In determining the appropriate sanction to impose, in mitigation the Special Referee noted that the respondent’s crime did not involve a client or a constituent, that the respondent admitted that he violated the rules of professional conduct, and that the respondent showed genuine remorse for his actions. Further, the respondent had a longstanding career in public service including four years with the United States Marine Corps, where he served in combat and received several commendations; employment with the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and service as a United States Congressman. Additionally, the respondent has an unblemished disciplinary history, and presented substantial evidence of his good character, including the testimony of several witnesses, who were convinced that the respondent’s conduct was an aberration unrelated to his practice of law.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, we have considered as aggravating factors that the respondent’s criminal conduct occurred over the course of several years; that he gave false deposition testimony, while serving as a member of Congress; and that restitution, consisting of the court ordered payment of back taxes, remains outstanding.
The New York Post recently reported that he intends to run for Congress again.(Mike Frisch)