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Former Fundraiser For Rep. Grimm Admits To Immigraton Fraud

Ofer Biton Pleads Guilty To Lying About Finances For Visa
(credit: CBS 2)

Gavel (file/credit: CBS 2)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A former campaign fundraiser for U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) pleaded guilty to an immigration fraud charge this week.

Israeli businessman Ofer Biton pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn Friday to lying about his finances when he applied in 2010 for a special visa available to foreigners who invest $500,000 or more in a U.S. business.

A plea agreement has called for Biton to be sentenced to three years of probation.

An attorney for Biton had no comment Friday.

Biton businessman was arrested last year amid an FBI investigation into money donated to Grimm’s campaign by followers of an Israeli rabbi, Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto.

A spokeswoman for Grimm said the congressman had no knowledge of any improper donations or any other illegal activity involving Biton.

But last fall, the House Ethics Committee voted unanimously to investigate claims that Grimm broke campaign finance laws during his first congressional bid in 2010, in part by promising Biton help in getting a green card if he would help solicit donations from a major synagogue, the Washington Post reported in November.

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