Staten Island Representative Michael Grimm Hid Shady Business, Poorly Named Companies

Michael Grimm.

Insurgent Republican congressman Michael Grimm of Staten Island sells himself as an upstanding former Marine and undercover FBI agent, but tends not to mention his multiple business deals with a convicted criminal and his work with a troubled Wall Street firm. The New York Times first sullied Grimm’s reputation with a report about him accepting illegal campaign contributions, and today they’re back with more complicating tales from Grimm’s past. A former colleague of Grimm’s at the FBI said the congressman “was a master of playing the roles of criminals — money launderer, corrupt stock broker — and would ‘never in a million years’ commit an impropriety.” Oh?

The Times reports that Grimm’s pal Carlos Luquis was convicted of helping to steal $2 million from electricity customers in Texas, but the pair remained close:

In May 2006, days after Mr. Grimm left the F.B.I., he and a partner, Harold Rosenbaum, borrowed $1.34 million from a bank and agreed to pay $965,000 to Mr. Luquis’s company, Hill Castle Homes, to build a house near Austin, Tex., according to property and court records.

The records show that they agreed to work with Mr. Luquis’s company even earlier, in March 2006, when Mr. Grimm was an F.B.I. agent.

By May 25, 2006, when Mr. Luquis signed a contract on the deal, he was weeks away from trial, at which he was convicted and sentenced to 12 years in prison. 

In 2007, when Mr. Luquis was in prison, Mr. Grimm founded a company with Mr. Luquis’s wife, Monica, and Mr. Luquis’s partner from Hill Castle, Michael Kloc.

And in 2008, shortly after Mr. Luquis was paroled, Mr. Grimm formed another Texas company, Austin Refuel, to turn grease into fuel.

Mr. Luquis, who declined to comment, was Austin Refuel’s director of logistics.

Additionally, Grimm’s bio says he worked at a firm called Harmonic Research, which was “merely the name of a newsletter that a small group of brokers” published at the firm where Grimm actually worked, Whale Securities. Grimm might not mention his affiliation with Whale because the company was “sanctioned repeatedly by regulators for gouging customers.”

There’s more! Grimm’s company Granny Sayz, LLC operated a restaurant called Healthalicious that’s now being sued by for paying its employees less than minimum wage off the books:

The restaurant’s legal name originally contained the word Healthalicious, with a C. Then in 2010, it was changed to Healthalitious NYC (with a T).

Finally, right after the lawsuit was filed, the restaurant changed its legal name again, to Healthalicious Upper East Side — with a C.

Healthalicious, Granny Sayz, Whale Securities: A secondary issue seems to be that Grimm is drawn to horrible branding.

SI Rep. Michael Grimm Hid Shady Business