Grimm spokesperson — “... [T]hese baseless accusations ... [are] part of a smear campaign... that does not warrant a response..."
Would NOT be the ONLY Federal Case coming out of Grimm’s 2010 fund raising — prior case ended in guilty plea by Grimm's once upon a time "girlfriend"
According to a New York Post “Esclusive” report, in 2010 Michael Grimm was so desperate to raise money in the weeks before his first run for Congress, that he e-mailed an ally in a bold bid to score a bundle of large, and probably illegal, donations. In that e-mail, Grimm asked for $10,000 donations from six people, when the legal limit for individual contributions was $2,400 (See “Grimm ‘funneled’ illegal campaign cash through rabbi" by Isabel Vincent and Melissa Klein, 10/26/14, NY Post/ Exclusive [http://nypost.com/2014/10/26/grimm-funneled-illegal-campaign-cash-through-rabbi/]).
THE NY POST ACCOUNT
The Republican-Conservative candidate for Congress in Staten Island and Western Brooklyn, Michael Grimm, allegedly e-mailed a rabbi in Israel, Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto, who is at the center of the FBI's investigation of the congressman's fund raising, and requested as series of large donations exceeding the legal limit during his first run for Congress in 2010.
Also according to the Post account, Grimm e-mailed the Israeli Rabbi’s organization asking for $10,000 donations from six people in the weeks before his first run for Congress (the legal limit for such individual contributions in a race for the U.S. Congress is $2,400).
The Post reporters say that Grimm wrote in an Oct. 18, 2010 e-mail to Pinto's organization: "We have very little time, as I need to start collecting checks as soon as today or tomorrow.... I think that if the Rabbi calls the six people and asks them to each write one check for the $10,000, then we can finish this in the next few days." In the e-mail, which the Post claims to have seen, Michael Grimm wrote that he needed a total of $190,000 to buy two weeks of television commercials and to pay for direct-mail solicitations.
Ultimately the money was given, according to the Post report, giving as its source, someone familiar with an ongoing federal probe of the congressman and his fund raising. It was also noted by the Post that none of Grimm's campaign fillings for the time period showed the alleged $10,000 contributions.
A spokesman for Grimm denied the allegations.
"The incredulous source of these baseless accusations has proven over four years to be nothing more than part of a smear campaign that does not warrant a response," a Grimm spokesperson told the NY Post, when asked for a comment.
SAME STORY ALSO IN THE S.I. ADVANCE
The Staten Island Advance picked up on the Post story and ran with it virtually unchanged (See “Report: Rep. Michael Grimm e-mailed rabbi asking for illegal donations during 2010 campaign” Ryan Lavis, 10/26/14, SI Advance/ silive.com [http://www.silive.com/news/index.ssf/2014/10/report_rep_michael_grimm_e-mai.html]).
ANOTHER CASE OF ILLEGAL FUND RAISING FOR GRIMM IN 2010This was not the only aspect of Grimm’s 2010 fund raising that has run afoul of Federal Investigators. Diana Durand, often referred to as “a former girlfriend of Grimm’s,” pleaded guilty earlier this year to recruiting straw donors to give money to Grimm’s 2010 campaign and that of another congressman. However, Grimm was not charged in the Durand case.
RABBI PINTO CLAIMS HE WAS VICTIM OF EXTORTION SCHEME — AND, SUPPOSEDLY, THE NON-JEW GRIMM WAS A GROUPIE OF THE ORTHODOX RABBI PINTO
Almost as a coda to their story in the Sunday Edition, the NY Post reporters, Isabel Vincent and Melissa Klein, included this morsel about Rabbi Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto: “Pinto, an Orthodox mystic who lives in Manhattan and Israel, prompted the federal investigation against Grimm. The rabbi reported to federal authorities in 2010 that he was the victim of an alleged extortion scheme by two members of his inner circle, Israeli businessman Ofer Biton and p.r. executive Ronn Torossian. *** Grimm, at the time, had become a follower of the rabbi, even though he is not Jewish and speaks no Hebrew. Pinto does not speak English.” Closing with this: “Pinto, through a spokesman, would not comment.”