NEW YORK — Former Staten Island Rep. Michael Grimm was sentenced to eight months in prison Friday after pleading guilty to a federal tax evasion charge.
Grimm pleaded guilty back in December in a case stemming from an investigation of his campaign financing.
He pleaded guilty to one count of aiding in the filing of a false tax return.
Prosecutors said between 24 and 30 months in prison would be appropriate.
Grimm’s attorneys asked the judge to spare him a prison term.
Grimm was also sentenced to one year of probation.
In court papers asking for a sentence of probation, defense lawyers called Grimm’s offense “an aberration in an otherwise remarkable life in selfless service of his country,” including a stint in the Marine Corps. They also argued that losing his career in Congress was punishment enough.
Grimm “is tremendously remorseful over his offense,” they wrote. “He understands that his tax violation is not something to be taken lightly, and he is anguished over his wrongdoing and will live with the shame of it the rest of his life.”
Prosecutors countered by telling the judge Grimm’s record of “falsely minimizing his criminal conduct and impugning anyone who questions him is indicative of an individual who has not come to terms with his own crimes.”
Prior to pleading guilty, Grimm had spent years maintaining his innocence.
According to an indictment, the tax fraud began in 2007 after Grimm retired from the FBI and began investing in a small Manhattan restaurant called Healthalicious.
The indictment accused him of under-reporting more than $1 million in wages and receipts to evade payroll, income and sales taxes, partly by paying immigrant workers, some of them in the country illegally, in cash.
The case stemmed from an investigation of Grimm’s campaign financing. He was never charged with any offense related to his campaign, but a woman romantically linked to him pleaded guilty in September to lining up straw donors for his 2010 run.
Grimm won re-election in November while fighting the charges. He resigned after pleading guilty.
In January 2014, Grimm made headlines after telling NY1 reporter Michael Scotto he wanted to throw the journalist off a balcony in the Capitol for asking about the campaign finance inquiry.
Grimm issued a statement soon afterward saying he has apologized to Scotto, which he said the reporter “was very gracious” and accepted his apology.