Thousands of non-existent voters: major scam uncovered in California
In California, a man who tried to run for mayor of Hawthorne is suspected of fraud. He allegedly applied for voter registration on behalf of thousands of non-existent people, the suspect does not admit his guilt. More details about the incident told the publication ABC7.
The prosecutor's office claims that it was financed by the criminal group MS-13.
Carlos Antonio de Bourbon Montenegro, also known as Mark Anthony Gonsalves, is charged with 18 counts of voter fraud, 11 counts of acquiring a false or forged document, two counts of perjury and one count of conspiracy to commit electoral fraud.
Montenegro, 53, allegedly filed over 8000 fake voter registration applications between July and October, and falsified names, addresses and signatures on documents to run for mayor of Hawthorne.
According to the prosecutor, the fraud attempts were funded by the MS-13 criminal group so that they could put Montenegro in an elected office in their own interests.
In a separate investigation, authorities found the ballots in a motel room. This evidence was turned over to the FBI.
Prosecutors say Montenegro used help from MS-13 and other gangs to complete the fake registration.
The District Attorney's Office claims Montenegro provided names and addresses, and gang members filled out paperwork. After completing the fraud, another suspect, Marcos Arevalo, was paid $ 2000 for a stack of completed forms.
Both men pleaded not guilty. If convicted, Montenegro faces up to 15 years in prison.
The conspiracy charge alleges that Montenegro submitted signed nominations to the city clerk this summer, containing 41 signatures and addresses, and that only 18 names, addresses, and signatures on the nominations were confirmed by the Los Angeles County Registrar.
The conspiracy charge also alleges that Montenegro "submitted and submitted signed nomination papers containing 32 signatures and addresses of fictitious, non-existent, or deceased individuals."
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The defendant claims that he and his accomplice Marcos Raul Arevalo "and other unknown accomplices" used three mailing addresses in Hawthorne, as well as Montenegro's home address "as mailing addresses for over 8000 voter registration applications."
According to prosecutors, Montenegro could face up to 15 years and eight months in a state prison if found guilty.
Arevalo, 34, is charged with eight counts of voter fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit fraud, and four counts of acquiring and offering a forged document. He could be sentenced to prison terms of up to seven years if found guilty as charged.
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