WASHINGTON, April 25 (UPI) -- The U.S. Attorney in New York will indict Rep. Michael Grimm after a nearly two-year Justice Department investigation into his campaign finances, sources close to the case say.
Allegations surfaced in the summer of 2012, shortly after the New York Republican first took office, that his campaign had filed falsified campaign finance reports and helped obtain a green card for a non-citizen who would then help raise money for the Grimm campaign.
One of Grimm's biggest fundraisers, New York-based Israeli citizen Ofer Biton, was arrested in August 2012 by the FBI on charges of making false statements about where he got $400,000 he loaned to a city visa program. Foreigners without green cards are barred from donating to U.S. political campaigns.
And in January, the FBI arrested Houston, Texas resident Diana Durand for allegedly funneling $10,000 to Grimm's campaign under several false names.
Grimm has denied wrongdoing and Friday, slammed the investigation "plagued by malicious leaks, violations of grand jury secrecy, and strong-arm tactics."
“We are disappointed by the government’s decision, but hardly surprised," said Grimm's attorney, William McGinley, in a statement. "From the beginning, the government has pursued a politically driven vendetta against Congressman Grimm and not an independent search for the truth."
"Congressman Grimm asserts his innocence of any wrongdoing," McGinley continued. "When the dust settles, he 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.”