After being admonished by a federal judge, former Staten Island Congressman Michael Grimm was sentenced to eight months in prison for tax evasion. NY1's Josh Robin has more on the fall of Grimm, who was once a rare Republican rising star in New York.

The former Congressman needs his moral compass reoriented. 

That's according to the federal judge who  also sentenced Michael Grimm to 200 hours of community service plus restitution to be determined.

Outside the court, Grimm kept quiet. 

Inside, he chalked up his admitted crime to an unwillingness to fail, bred in the Marine Corps where he served two combat tours. 

He says restaurateurs in Manhattan need to cheat on taxes to turn a profit. 

"I would give this country my blood and I have. I would give this country my life. I was ashamed to fail. And I didn't step up when I should," he said.

Grimm had asked for no prison time. The judge was unconvinced. Everyone falls from grace when they are caught committing a crime, she told him. Some fall further than others.

And fall, he did. Before resigning, voters in Staten Island and Brooklyn elected him to three terms

He's praised for helping them after Hurricane Sandy, but Grimm is certainly better recalled for his pugnacity. 

That included threatening to throw a NY1 reporter off a congressional balcony for asking about the investigation. 

Grimm, who pleaded guilty in December, could have faced as much as two years behind bars. That he got less delivers no solace to supporters from the Staten Island Republican and Conservative parties. 

"In the end, they are just taking away his freedom and it's just unjust and it's wrong and I don't know what's happening to this country," said Bill D'Ambrosio, a Grimm supporter.

"She should be ashamed of herself that judge," said Bobby Zahn, another supporter. "That screed was terrible."

Judge Pamela Chen said Grimm paid immigrant workers well below minimum wage and cheated on more than one hundred thousand dollars in taxes. 

"What the defendant and his partners did, quite frankly, was steal from the government and from the public," the judge said.

Grimm has to report for prison by September 10.