Judge Nixes Bail Bid from Israeli Ex-Fundraiser

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NEW YORK — A former political fundraiser is staying behind bars in an immigration-fraud case after a magistrate in New York rejected his $800,000 bail bid.

The Daily News (http://nydn.us/NZXf9i ) says Brooklyn Magistrate Cheryl Pollak decided Friday that Ofer Biton’s  bail offer wasn’t sufficient.

Biton is an Israeli businessman. He helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for Rep. Michael Grimm in 2010.

Biton is charged with lying about his finances when applying for a visa. Defense lawyer John Meringolo calls the case “politically motivated.”

Biton’s arrest came amid an FBI probe of donations to Grimm’s campaign from followers of an Israeli rabbi. Some donors have said they broke campaign finance law.

The Republican congressman and former FBI agent says his campaign followed fundraising rules and took measures to vet contributions.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

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