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Fundraiser For Rep. Michael Grimm Charged With Immigration Fraud

Representative Michael Grimm (credit:grimm.house.gov)

Representative Michael Grimm (credit: grimm.house.gov)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – An Israeli man who helped raise funds for U.S. Congressman Michael Grimm’s 2010 campaign has been arrested on immigration fraud charges.

Ofer Biton was arraigned Friday in Brooklyn. He is charged with lying about his finances when he applied for a visa for foreign investors two years ago.

The arrest came as the FBI continues to look into money donated to Grimm’s campaign by followers of an Israeli rabbi, Yoshiyahu Pinto.

Biton was formerly a top aide to Pinto. He acted in 2010 as a liaison between Grimm and potential donors in the congregation.

Biton’s lawyer declined to comment Saturday. Grimm’s lawyer didn’t immediately respond to messages.

The Staten Island Republican has denied any knowledge of improper fundraising.

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)