Ex-Rep. Grimm gets 8 months in prison
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Former Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) was sentenced Friday to 8 months in prison for federal tax fraud by a federal judge in New York. 

Grimm apologized to the judge and said that his decision to pay workers off the books, avoiding tax payments, was "absolutely wrong," according to The New York Times.

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“All my life I have scraped and I have clawed and I have killed myself to better myself,” he said. “A Marine is taught not to fail... give me the opportunity to redeem myself.”

But Judge Pamela Chen ignored his pleas to avoid jail time. 

"That this type of crime is common does not lessen its significance,” she said, according to the Times

“Your moral compass, Mr. Grimm, needs some reorientation.”

Federal prosecutors hit Grimm with a 20-count indictment earlier this year on a slew of fraud allegations related to a restaurant he managed. He pleaded guilty on one count in a deal to keep the rest of the case from going to trial. 

Grimm initially panned the indictment as a “political witch hunt” and vowed to fight to clear his name. Even after he pleaded guilty, he bucked calls to resign but eventually reversed course and stepped down from office. 

Federal prosecutors had sought a jail sentence of between 2 and 2 1/2 years, slightly less than the maximum of 3 years that Grimm faced. 

Grimm’s lawyers pushed back against the “caricature of the typical politician who gets in trouble with the law” in a sentencing memo filed with the court earlier this year.

“Michael Grimm’s offense is an aberration in an otherwise remarkable life lived in selfless service of his country and dedicated towards helping his family, friends, and community,” the memo says. 

Grimm is apparently a primary caretaker of former Rep. Guy Molinari (R-N.Y.), who served in Congress until 2001. Molinari wrote to the court to ask it to be lenient on Grimm since he is helping him.  

Noting Grimm’s service as a Marine, FBI special agent, lawmaker and a “caretaker and caring friend,” his lawyers called on the court to spare him jail time and give him only probation.

Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Chief Richard Weber lauded the sentencing in a statement and blasted Grimm for making the "conscious decision" to break the law.

“Tax crimes are not victimless crimes and Grimm’s actions harmed the very citizens he was elected to serve," he said. 

"We expect all taxpayers to follow the law—whether you are a business owner, individual, or elected official—we all must play by the same rules.”

This story was updated at 2:10 p.m.