Friday, January 17, 2014

Is Benjamin Netanyahu Covering Up For Mafioso Congressman Michael "Mikey Suits" Grimm?


Pinto and Grimm-- two crooks

Back in March of 2012 the NY Times looked into Staten Island Mafia congressman Michael "Mikey Suits" Grimm's connection with Panicos "Pete" Papanicolaou and Cypriot crime syndicates. A former FBI agent who went over to the Gambino Crime Family (and then the GOP), Grimes is in more trouble with the Feds than any other Member of Congress in our lifetimes and investigations of him just keep leading deeper and deeper into a maze of corruption and criminality. And Cyprus isn't the only other country with a Grimm-connection. This week, the Staten Island Advance reported that Israeli officials are trying to shield Grimm from the FBI.
Top Israelis leaned on multimillionaire celebrity Rabbi Yoshiyahu Pinto in an attempt to discourage the rabbi from cooperating in an FBI investigation of GOP Rep. Michael Grimm's 2010 fundraising, multiple reports out of Israel said.

…The FBI has been investigating whether Grimm, with the help of former Pinto aide Ofer Biton, collected illegal contributions from Pinto's congregation.

Grimm, a former FBI agent, has denied the allegations and has not been accused of any wrongdoing. Biton later pleaded guilty to visa fraud.

But Pinto is also the subject of a high-profile investigation in Israel, where he is accused of bribing police officials, including Maj. Gen. Menashe Arviv, who heads an elite national police unit known as the "Israeli FBI," which investigates crime and corruption.

Arviv was also Israeli police liaison to the U.S.

In the midst of revelations about the bribery case, Israeli media on Thursday reported that a former senior Israeli government minister and police officials tried to discourage Pinto from cooperating in the FBI investigation of Grimm.

It was not made clear why officials would look to protect Grimm, and the congressman is not accused of any wrongdoing in the matter.

…Pinto is one of Israel's top 10 wealthiest rabbis, and also has a congregation on Manhattan's Upper East Side.

He is also under investigation for allegedly embezzling from a charity he controlled, and the FBI has also investigated Biton and Ronn Torossian on charges they embezzled millions from Pinto's congregation.
Pinto's case is very big in Israel and involves him bribing Brigadier General Ephraim Bracha, head of the anti corruption police. He also faces obstruction of justice charges from the FBI, but claims he hasn't bribed anyone and that he's no longer a rabbi. "The FBI is reportedly angry with Israel Police, accusing it of compromising its investigation against Grimm by exposing Pinto as was done. A former cabinet minister was involved too according to reports, and that former minister instructed Pinto to back off his testimony against Grimm. This may lead to an additional story and point to more corruption in Israel." Last night, the New York Daily News reported that the Israeli investigation is completely throwing off the timing of their Grimm prosecution-- and keep in mind, the FBI has asked the House Ethics Committee to back off on Grimm until they could complete their own investigation. The move to protect Grimm may go right to the very top of the right-wing Israeli government.

[A]longside the allegations and suspicions against senior officials in the Israel Police, the affair involves even greater involvement among of senior government officials. This involvement includes, among other things, protecting the interests of Congressman Michael Grimm, a Republican with close ties to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is known for his staunch support of Israeli government interests in Congress.

This is the background for the involvement of an Israeli minister, according to the information handed to the FBI; involvement that was perceived by the US investigative authorities as an attempt to obstruct their investigation.
Grimm is one of the only Republicans defending fellow-crook, Chris Christie. They really are two of a kind.

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