Good Evening
Good Evening
NewsNew York

Former Rep. Michael Grimm's friend sentenced to prison for campaign finance violations

Rep. Michael Grimm (R-Staten Island) leaves federal court

Rep. Michael Grimm (R-Staten Island) leaves federal court in Brooklyn on Monday, April 29, 2014. Credit: Charles Eckert

A Texas woman whose friendship with former Staten Island Rep. Michael Grimm put her under law enforcement scrutiny was unexpectedly sentenced to three months in prison for campaign finance violations in federal court in Brooklyn Tuesday.

Diana Durand, 48, of Houston, pleaded guilty last year to using straw donors to make donations of more than $10,000 to Grimm and another candidate, violating maximum donation limits.

Grimm was not charged in the case, but was separately charged and pleaded guilty to tax fraud in connection with his operation of a health food restaurant, and resigned from Congress this year.

Prosecutors and lawyers for Durand had agreed she should receive probation, but Brooklyn U.S. District Judge Sterling Johnson, with little explanation, imposed jail time and a $10,000 fine. Durand was ordered to report to prison by May 1.

Defense lawyer Stuart Kaplan quickly filed a motion for reconsideration Tuesday afternoon, asking the judge to at least consider converting the prison term to home confinement because Durand is the sole caretaker and support for a 16-year-old son.

"This case just doesn't add up," he told Johnson.

More news