Former Dem. Congressman pleads guilty to election fraud scheme that spanned 4 years

by Chris Lange

Chris Lange, FISM News

 

A former Pennsylvania Democrat Congressman pleaded guilty to election fraud charges Monday, exposing an elaborate scheme that included bribing state election officials. 

Michael “Ozzie” Myers admitted in a Philadelphia court that he stuffed ballot boxes on behalf of Pennsylvanian Democratic candidates in state elections from 2014 to 2018, according to a Post Millennial report. He pleaded guilty “to conspiracy to deprive voters of civil rights, bribery, obstruction of justice, falsification of voting records, and conspiring to illegally vote in a federal election for orchestrating schemes to fraudulently stuff the ballot boxes for specific Democratic candidates in the 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 Pennsylvania elections,” the Department of Justice said in a statement.

Myers admitted to bribing Domenick Demuro, the Judge of Elections for the 39th Ward, 36th Division in South Philadelphia, “to illegally add votes for certain candidates of their mutual political party in primary elections,” according to the DOJ. He also acknowledged paying Demuro between $300 and $5,000 per election to add fraudulent votes and certify the results.

The statement also revealed that Myers was paid by campaign workers for Democratic candidates who “hired” him to rig the elections. 

“Myers would solicit payments from his clients in the form of cash or checks as ‘consulting fees,’ and then use portions of these funds to pay Demuro and others to tamper with election results,” the DOJ said, adding that the former congressman also committed the fraud on his own behalf, adding fake votes for “various federal, state, and local elective offices” whom he personally preferred.

The disgraced former lawmaker further admitted to “conspiring to commit election fraud” with former Judge of Elections for the 39th Ward, 2nd Division in South Philadelphia, Marie Beren. 

Myers said that in the days leading up to the elections, he would drive Beren to the polling station and tell her which candidates he supported. He maintained phone contact with her throughout the day to ensure that the sham votes went to the right people. Beren then falsely certified the elections. 

Both Demuro and Beren pleaded guilty to charges stemming from the elaborate schemes in 2020 and 2021, respectively.

“Voting is the cornerstone of our democracy,” US Attorney Jennifer Williams told reporters following Myers’ guilty plea. “If even one vote has been illegally cast or if the integrity of just one election official is compromised, it diminishes faith in the process. ” Williams added, “Votes are not things to be purchased and democracy is not for sale.”

“If you are a political consultant, election official, or work with the polling places in any way, I urge you to do your job honestly and faithfully. That is what the public deserves and what the federal government will enforce,” she said.

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