Election Fraud Cases
Alexander Bronson, former Trustee for Manteca Unified School District, California, pleaded guilty to charges of voter fraud. He listed a false address in order to qualify for candidacy in the November 2014 Manteca Unified School District Board of Education election. He resigned from office and is awaiting sentencing.
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Jose Fragozo, a trustee on the Escondido Union School District Board, pleaded guilty to a felony charge that he voted in the 2014 general election while registered at an address where he did not live. Investigators determined that while he owned the property at that address, he actually lived at a nearby second home. The two properties lie in different board electoral zones, and California law requires elected officials to reside in the districts they represent. Fargozo claimed the false address as his residence shortly before announcing his candidacy for the board seat in that electoral zone. The remaining charges were dismissed pursuant to a plea agreement, in which Fragozo agreed to resign and not to seek electoral office for three years. The judge sentenced Fragozo to three years of probation, a single day in jail, 15 days of community service, and the payment of a fine and restitution which could total over $28,500.
Source: bit.ly/2fdaQjj, bit.ly/2f1s9DJ
In 2014, Maria C. Del Toro received $1,900 to collect signatures for a recall election effort against Salinas City Elementary School District Trustee, Janet Barnes. The recall ultimately failed, but during a random audit, the election department found significant discrepancies in the signatures submitted by Del Toro. She confessed to forging the signatures and pleaded guilty. She was sentenced to 40 days in jail, three years' probation, and had to repay the $1,900.
Donald Dewsnup, a housing development activist in San Francisco, registered to vote using a false address. As part of a plea bargain, he pleaded no contest to two misdemeanor counts of false voter registration. He is awaiting sentencing but is expected to be sentenced to perform 100 hours of community service and three years probation.
Source: bit.ly/2t9DXt6, bit.ly/2t9yTVZ
Mark Evans voted by absentee ballot in the November 2014 election. He then cast a second absentee ballot, this time in the name of his deceased father-in-law. Following an investigation by the District Attorney's office and the County Clerk and Recorder's Office, the 62-year-old Ventura County resident was charged with misdemeanor voter fraud. He pleaded no contest and received three years' probation and was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine.
Richard Alarcon, a Los Angeles City Councilman, was convicted of three charges of voter fraud following a jury trial. He lied about where he lived in order to run for office and vote in a different jurisdiction than the place where he actually lived. He was sentenced to 120 days in jail, 600 hours of community service, and five years' probation. He is also banned from running for public office.
Source: bit.ly/2sRKOrl, lat.ms/1qAOBXr, lat.ms/10na62g
Flora Montes de Oca, the wife of Los Angeles City Councilman Richard Alarcon, was convicted of voter fraud after she lied about her residence so that she could vote in the district her husband represented. She was sentenced to five years' probation and 400 hours of community service and is barred from holding public office.
Source: lat.ms/10na62g, lat.ms/1qAOBXr, lat.ms/10na62g
In 2014, former auditor-controller candidate Kathleen Knox, who during the campaign pledged to "fight waste and fraud," pleaded no contest to three counts of voter fraud. As a candidate for auditor-controller, Knox put down a false address as her place of residence. She was fined and sentenced to three years of probation.
Source: bayareane.ws/2sPQ0zv, bit.ly/2tNtTXF, bit.ly/2tsSTEk
State Sen. Roderick Wright (D_Inglewood) was convicted of eight felony counts of perjury and voter fraud. He deliberately misled voters as to his residency in order to run for office in a neighboring district. Wright was sentenced to 90 days' imprisonment, 1,500 hours of community service, and three years' probation. He has also been permanently barred from holding elected office. He was pardoned by former Governor Jerry Brown in 2018.
Source: bit.ly/2fdeB8E, bit.ly/2eAnvMk
A City Council election (originally decided by four votes) in Vernon, California is overturned when it is determined that five people who voted for the winner were not residents of the city, and two others had not properly mailed in their ballots. A new winner was subsequently named.
Ricardo Lopez-Munguia, a Mexican who was deported decades ago for drug trafficking, pleaded guilty to living illegally in Escondido under a false identity and fraudulently voting in the 2008 U.S. presidential election.
Officials in the small town of Cudahy took part in a widespread corruption scheme that included accepting cash bribes, abusing drugs at City Hall, and throwing out absentee ballots that favored election challengers. After a lengthy FBI Investigation of the 2007 and 2009 elections, the former head of code enforcement, Angel Perales, admitted to tampering with mail-in ballots in city elections by opening them and then resealing and submitting votes for incumbent candidates while discarding votes for challengers. He and Mayor David Silva pleaded guilty to bribery and extortion charges, although Perales' plea agreement included his admission of election fraud. Silva was sentenced to one year in federal prison. Perales was sentenced to five years' probation.
Source: bit.ly/2eAmnIk, bit.ly/2eogLU5
James Conway was convicted on six charges stemming from his illegal registration to vote: three counts of perjury, two of falsely filing a declaration of candidacy, and one for false registration. Conway was sentenced to time served, given probation, and was ordered to pay restitution.
Immigrant-Rights activist Nativo Lopez pleaded guilty to one count of voter registration fraud when it was discovered that he registered to vote in Los Angeles while living in Santa Ana. Lopez had been investigated for voter fraud before. In 1996 his organization registered new citizens to vote in an election that ultimately unseated Republican Rep. Bob Dornan from the 46th District. A House Oversight Committee report later concluded that 748 improper ballots had been cast, 624 of them from non-citizen immigrants. Despite the improperly cast votes, the result of that election was not changed. Lopez was sentenced to three years of probation and 400 hours of community service.
Ken Mariette, former manager of the Mountain Gate Community Services District, pleaded no contest to felony charges of voting and registration fraud. Mariette used his girlfriend's address to register to vote in Mountain Gate in 2004. He then worked for the district before becoming its manager. Mariette was sentenced to 36 months' conditional release and was ordered to serve 30 days in an adult work program.
Former Palm Springs candidate Eloise Garcia-Mohsin was charged with two counts of voter fraud, three counts of perjury, and four counts of falsely filing election documents after lying about her residence so she could run for office. She pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor violation of the state's election code, was sentenced to 180 hours of community service, and disqualified from seeking or holding public office during a three-year period of probation.
Source: bit.ly/2uVgqhI , bit.ly/2tNcO37
Molly Morales received two mail-in ballots, one addressed to her and the other addressed to "Molly LaPointe." Morales filled out and submitted both ballots in the fall 2009 St. Helena school board election. She pleaded guilty to a single misdemeanor count of voter fraud. Morales was sentenced to three years' probation, 150 hours of community service, a $1,100 fine, and was ordered to pay $4,080 in restitution to Napa County.
Former mayor of Vernon, Leonis Malburg, and his wife, Domenica, were convicted of fraudulent voting and voter registration fraud. Malburg, who had been mayor for 50 years prior to his resignation, and his wife did not live in Vernon and were thus ineligible to vote or to be candidates in that municipality. Leonis was barred from elected office, placed on five years' probation, ordered to pay $183,800 in fines and penalty assessments, and more than $395,000 restitution to the city for salary, benefits, and travel. Domenica received three years' probation and was ordered to pay $36,000 in fines and penalties.
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Owner of Young Political Majors, Mark Jacoby, pleaded guilty to voter fraud after he registered to vote at a childhood address where he no longer lived and at another address in the same voter precinct. He was sentenced to three years' probation after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor and was ordered to complete 30 days of community service.
Don Cornell Williams pleaded guilty to felony voter fraud charges. While working as a signature gatherer in Orange County, Williams registered an illegal immigrant and two teenagers who were too young to vote. Williams was sentenced to 61 days' in jail and three years' probation.
Christopher Kavanagh pleaded no contest to registering to vote in Berkeley when he lived in Oakland. He was sentenced to six months in jail, five years' probation, and was ordered to pay a $10,835 fine.
Mickensey Oliveria pleaded no contest to ballot petition fraud. Oliveria was charged with providing a false affidavit for a referendum or recall petition or the signatures appended thereto.
Source: bit.ly/2sLHvGJ, bit.ly/2sSa2Wl, Superior Court of California, Case #1090738
Jason Holly and Jessica Sundell pleaded guilty in 2006 to a felony charge of fraudulent completion of an affidavit of registration, and were sentenced to three years' probation. It was discovered that more than 100 people who thought they were signing petitions to cure breast cancer and punish child molesters were actually registering as Republicans in an elaborate vote-flipping scheme. Donahue Farrow pleaded guilty in 2008 for his involvement in this scheme. He was sentenced to 46 days in jail and three years' probation. Five others have also pleaded guilty over their involvement in this scheme.
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A former Hayward County school board candidate pleaded guilty to registering fictitious voters and falsifying ballot initiatives, both felonies. Treskunoff was initially charged with over 40 felonies. He was sentenced to one year in prison, followed by five years' probation.
Source: bit.ly/2fdfGgI, bit.ly/2fdgCSl
Trina Stevenson pleaded guilty to voter registration fraud. Stevenson was required to pay a fine and serve probation.
Source: bit.ly/2sSa2Wl, bit.ly/2sRLr3R, Superior Court of California, Case #1088984
Working as GOP voter registration employees during the 2000 general election, Edward Barquet and his girlfriend, Michelle Corrall, sought to capitalize on a $4 bounty for each Republican voter successfully registered. The pair submitted multiple fraudulent registrations, which included false information and forged signatures. Following their guilty pleas, a judge sentenced each of them to serve four months in jail and pay a $220 fine, followed by five years' probation.
A 2001 election in Compton turned into a multi-year legal drama as candidates for city council and mayor traded accusations of fraud. In the election, incumbent Mayor Omar Bradley lost to challenger Eric Perrodin by 281 votes, and Leslie Irving (a Perrodin ally) defeated Melanie Andrews for an open city council seat. Bradley sued, alleging fraud, including allegations that Irving illegally registered non-citizens. Superior Court Judge Judith Chirlin overturned the election, returning Bradley to power based on the fact that the city clerk had improperly placed Perrodin's name at the top of the ballot rather than select the order randomly. Chirlin also found that Irving had indeed helped non-citizens to register and vote in the election, and removed Irving from office and replaced her with Andrews. On appeal, Chirlin's ruling was partially overturned. The appellate court acknowledged that Perrodin had benefited from a "primacy effect," but this was insufficient to overturn the election. The appellate court upheld the removal of Irving from office, but held that Judge Chirlin should have ordered a new election rather than simply replace her with Andrews.
Source: lat.ms/2ffcCkG, lat.ms/2fdAKUi, lat.ms/2e3289Y
Sam Fant, a former Manteca Unified School District Trustee, pleaded no contest to a felony voter registration fraud charge. During the 2014 election, Fant provided false addresses to two Manteca school board candidates, Ashley Drain and Alexander Bronson, so they could run despite not meeting residency requirements. Both candidates won, but were ultimately forced to resign and were criminally convicted on election fraud charges. Fant, meanwhile, was sentenced to serve 120 days in county jail and was given five years of probation.
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Richard Howard offered homeless people cash and cigarettes in exchange for forging signatures on official petitions using the names and addresses of actual registered voters, in order to qualify several ballot measures. Howard and several others were arrested during an undercover operation. He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge and was sentenced to 60 days in jail and 3 years of probation.
Ashley Drain Hampton falsified her address in order to appear on the ballot for the Manteca Unified school board elections in 2014. Hampton won her race, but resigned several months after charges were filed. In April 2017, a jury found Hampton guilty of charges that included not only multiple counts of election fraud, but also charges of perjury and defrauding the government in an effort to get more public assistance money than she was entitled to receive. In September of 2018, a judge sentenced Hampton to 15 months in jail, five years of probation, and ordered her to complete 200 hours of community service.
Source: bit.ly/2zhk3lc, bit.ly/2zlifrv, bit.ly/2zmgVof
Gustavo Araujo Lerma, a Mexican citizen who resides in Sacramento County, illegally assumed the identity of American citizen Hiram Enrique Velez, and illegally voted repeatedly over two decades. Lerma was convicted in federal court of one count of aggravated identity theft, one count of making a false statement on a passport application, and five counts of voting by an alien in a federal election. Lerma, a self-described Republican donor and ardent Trump supporter, now faces up to two years in prison. He is scheduled to be sentenced in November.
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