Former fundraiser for Staten Island congressman arrested

August 18, 2012 10:21:44 AM PDT
An Israeli who helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for Congressman Michael Grimm during his 2010 campaign has been arrested in New York on immigration fraud charges.

Businessman Ofer Biton (OH'-fur BEE'-tohn) was arraigned Friday in Brooklyn. He is charged with lying about his finances two years ago when he applied for a visa for foreign investors.

The arrest comes as the FBI probes money donated to Grimm's campaign by followers of an Israeli rabbi, Yoshiyahu (yoh-shee-AH'-hoo) 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 seeking comment.

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

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