Former Congressmember Michael Grimm has been released from federal prison one month early, according to reports.
Grimm – who got considerably less than the sentence prescribed by federal sentencing guidelines, 18 to 24 months — was released seven months into his eight-month sentence under the condition that he continue the rest of it under house arrest.
U.S. District Judge Pamela Chen – who sentenced Grimm in July, 2015 – also served the ex-pol a year’s probation and 200 hours of community service.
Before his guilty plea in December of 2014, Grimm — who represented Staten Island and portions of Brooklyn from 2011 until early January, 2015, and had just won reelection to a third term — faced a 20-count federal indictment, including multiple counts of mail fraud, wire fraud, perjury, one count of conspiring to defraud the United States, one count of impeding the Internal Revenue Service, one count of health care fraud, one count of engaging in a pattern or practice of hiring and continuing to employ unauthorized aliens, and one count of obstructing an official proceeding.
All the charges arose out of a business Grimm owned before being elected to Congress called Healthalicious, a small fast food eatery in Manhattan. He was also charged with under-reporting income at the restaurant by over $1 million, and paying employees hundreds of thousands of dollars in wages “off the books.”
Grimm’s lawyers had asked the court to go easy on him, and spare him jail time; prosecutors, on the other hand, had requested a 30-month sentence.
At his sentencing, the former Bay Ridge elected apologized for his transgression, saying that he had, “made bad decisions that I’ll regret for the rest of my life,” because he feared failing.
Grimm began serving his sentence in September of last year. The seat he left vacant was filled by current Congressmember Daniel Donovan, who was elected to serve the 11th Congressional District in a May, 2015 special election.
In an exclusive interview with NY1, Grimm – who is only allowed to leave his home with permission from authorities – spoke of plans to pen a book about his life, as well as his current search for a new job to pay off legal fees and restitution.
“I’m really glad to be putting it past me,” he told NY1.
Additional reporting contributed by Helen Klein