10/12/12

More "Friends of Michael Grimm"?

According to the New York Times, When Republican Congressional Representative Michael Grimm left the FBI in 2006, he opened a Manhattan restaurant with businessman Bennett Orfaly, who Brooklyn federal prosecutor Anthony Capozzolo says has ties to Gambino crime family member Anthony (Fat Tony) Morelli.

Convicted in a complex tax fraud case, Morelli is "away" for 20 years.

Capozzolo's allegations against Orfaly came out at a bail hearing last month for former Grimm campaign fundraiser Ofer Biton, charged with immigration fraud and under investigation in a campaign finance case that rose out of Grimm's 2010 campaign.

At the hearing, Capozzolo painted Orfaly -- who put up $30,000 in cash plus assets to spring Biton on a $1.5 million bond -- as a friend and associate of Morelli and his wife Mary Ann.

Through his lawyer, Grimm denied knowing anything of Orfaly's alleged mob ties.

According to Brooklyn Daily, Capozzolo also raised Biton's unindicted role in a 2002 drug investigation involving party drug ecstasy at the bail hearing.  During a search of Biton's home during that investigation, the feds seized a loaded handgun and papers bearing Biton's alias, Haim Morzaine.

More from the Back Channel.

Check out Grimm donors Benzion Suky and Rafi Raman [TPM.] 

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