2014-05-05T213125Z_1_CBREA441NSG00_RTROPTP_2_USA-CONGRESS-GRIMM

Ex-fundraiser for U.S. Representative Grimm says not guilty of campaign violations

Diana Durand, ex-girlfriend and former fundraiser for Republican U.S. Representative Michael Grimm exits the Brooklyn Federal Courthouse in the Brooklyn Borough of New YorkBy Bernard Vaughan NEW YORK (Reuters) – A Texas woman pleaded not guilty on Monday to charges of arranging illegal contributions to the 2010 campaign of embattled U.S. Representative Michael Grimm, a New York Republican. Diana Durand, a former fundraiser for Grimm, pleaded not guilty in New York to charges of funneling more than $10,000 to two candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010 with the help of straw donors, in violation of a federal law that capped individual contributions to political candidates at $4,800. The three-count indictment handed down last month does not name Grimm, though Durand’s lawyer, Stuart Kaplan, confirmed after Monday’s hearing at federal court in Brooklyn that Grimm was one of the candidates in question. The complaint filed against Durand included an excerpt from an April 2010 e-mail in which prosecutors said she thanked two straw donors, who use someone else’s money to make campaign contributions in their own name.

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