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Ex-Fundraiser for US Rep. Grimm Arrested

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Congressman Michael Grimm from Staten Island. (Azi Paybarah / wnyc)

An Israeli national who helped raise money for Rep. Michael Grimm's 2010 campaign was arrested on immigration fraud charges.

Ofer Biton, 39, is charged with falsifying his application to obtain a permanent visa in June 2010 under a federal program aimed attracting foreign entrepreneurs who invest $500,000 or more in a U.S. business, according to the criminal complaint obtained by WNYC.

Federal prosecutors allege that Biton misrepresented to immigration officials the source of the $500,000 he swore and attested was a legitimate business investment.

Biton was arraigned in Brooklyn federal court on Friday and sent to the Metropolitan Detention Center.

The FBI is also probing money donated to the Staten Island Congressman’s campaign by followers of a rabbi Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto.

Biton was formerly a top aide to Pinto, and acted as liaison between the New York City Republican potential donors in Pinto's congregation.

Some donors have since said that they broke campaign finance law by donating more money than allowed, or by funneling donations from foreigners who aren't legally allowed to give to U.S. candidates

Grimm, himself a former FBI agent, has consistently maintained he has complied with Federal campaign finance laws

The federal probe is being led by Anthony Capozzolo, chief of the Eastern District's public corruption squad.

With the Associated Press

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Comments [3]

scholarpon from london

Check out this amazing school fundraiser www.scholarpon.com you cant buy daily deals and give back to schools.

Aug. 21 2012 05:15 AM
Jenny Ling Po from Staten Island

There has not been a single donor who came forward to say they gave Grimm a cash contribution, not even anonymously. This is simply the allegation of unnamed witnesses who wanted to remain anonymous.

Aug. 19 2012 01:10 PM
Rebecca Johansen

Why has Obama's "auntie" from Kenya not been deported yet?
She lied about a LOT more, and was found to be defrauding
taxpayers and social welfare.

Look at both sides of the coin, Bob Hennelly - or are
you just another paid shrill for democrat hypocrisy?

Aug. 19 2012 05:30 AM

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