Saturday, October 24, 2020

Former City Council Candidate in New Jersey Convicted in Voter Bribery Scheme Case

-

A former candidate for the Hoboken City Council, in New Jersey, was convicted Tuesday of conspiring to promote a voter bribery scheme, federal prosecutors announced.

Francis Raia, 67, of Hoboken, a candidate for Hoboken City Council in 2013, was convicted of one count of conspiracy to violate the federal Travel Act for causing the mails to be used in aid of voter bribery, contrary to New Jersey state law, during that election, prosecutors say.

“The defendant, in this case, tried to rig a Hoboken municipal election by voting multiple times, both for himself and for a ballot question that he supported,” U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said. “He did so by deploying his loyal foot soldiers to buy votes from people who he thought were in need of money, and then creating a phony cover story to conceal his tracks.”

Under New Jersey law, registered voters are permitted to cast a ballot by mail rather than in person. To receive a mail-in ballot, voters must complete and submit to their County Clerk’s Office an Application for Vote By Mail Ballot (VBM Application). After the VBM Application is processed by the County Clerk’s Office, voters receive a mail-in ballot.

- Advertisement -

According to court documents, from October 2013 through November 2013, Raia instructed other conspirators who worked for his campaign, to pay certain Hoboken voters $50 if they applied for and cast mail-in ballots in the November 2013 Hoboken municipal election. The conspirators provided these voters with VBM Applications and then delivered or mailed the completed VBM Applications to the Hudson County Clerk’s office.

Court documents say that after the mail-in ballots were delivered to the voters, at Raia’s direction, the conspirators went to the voters’ residences and instructed them to vote for Raia and in favor of a ballot referendum that Raia supported that would have loosened rent control restrictions in Hoboken.

The conspirators promised the voters that they would be paid $50 for casting their mail-in ballots and told them that they could pick up their checks after the election at Raia’s office in Hoboken, according to the court documents.

Prosecutors say Raia and his workers checked the ballots to ensure that voters had voted the way that they had instructed them to vote.

- Advertisement -

Additionally, according to prosecutors, Raia and his workers also had the voters sign declarations falsely stating that they had been paid in exchange for working on the campaign, when in fact the voters had been paid for their vote.

Court documents state that after the election, the voters received $50 checks from a political consulting firm that was paid by Raia’s political action committee. Those $50 checks were never disclosed on Raia’s publicly filed political action committee election reports.

Raia faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Some of his workers and conspirators previously pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing, prosecutors say.

Raia’s sentencing date is unclear.

“The health of our democracy relies on the integrity of our electoral system,” FBI-Newark Special Agent-in-Charge Gregory W. Ehrie said. “When people use corrupt methods to work around that system, it deprives every constituent of their right to be heard through their vote.”




MUST READ

Julius Baer to deny two former CEOs their bonuses over money laundering scandal

Julius Baer will withhold millions of francs in bonuses from its former chief executives Boris Collardi and Bernhard Hodler, as a result of a...

Goldman Sachs executives to cover part payments of $3 billion fines in 1MDB scandal

Nine current or former Goldman Sachs executives, including CEO David Solomon, will have to pay back hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation over...

Goldman Sachs agrees $3 billion settlement with US DoJ over 1MDB corruption scandal

Goldman Sachs has agreed to pay nearly $3bn (£2.3bn) in the US to end a probe of its role in Malaysia's 1MDB corruption scandal. The...

Hong Kong fines Goldman Sachs $350 million over 1MDB scandal

Goldman Sachs ignored multiple red flags over the multibillion-dollar fundraisings it arranged for state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad, Hong Kong’s financial regulator said on...

Texas attorney general Ken Paxton fires top aide who accused him of bribery

Lacey Mase, one of the top aides who accused Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton of crimes including bribery and abuse of office, has been fired, she told The...
Advertisement
Advertisement

Latest News

This Week

Guatemala seeks arrest of ex-minister linked to a $16m cash discovery

Guatemalan prosecutors are seeking the arrest of the former communications minister for ex-President Jimmy Morales on money laundering charges after finding a connection to...

Former Blue Bell Creameries CEO indicted for fraud linked to 2015 listeria outbreak

The former president and CEO of Blue Bell Creameries L.P., a Texas ice cream company, was indicted Tuesday on wire fraud charges in connection with a scheme...

EU takes legal action against Cyprus and Malta over investment for citizenship scheme

The European Union’s executive said on Tuesday it was launching legal action against Cyprus and Malta over their investor citizenship programmes, also known as...

US financial watchdog fines bitcoin mixer operator $60m for money laundering

The founder and operator of some of the first "mixing" services in crypto will have to cough up $60 million to United States regulators,...
Advertisement

Adblock Detected!

Our website is made possible by displaying online advertisements to our visitors. Please consider supporting us by whitelisting our website.

Enable Notifications    Ok No thanks