U.S. Attorney Says Investigation Is Active And Vows To Ensure Accuracy Of Future Elections
U.S. Attorney William M. McSwain announced today that Domenick J. DeMuro, 73, of Philadelphia, PA – a former Judge of Elections for the 39th Ward, 36th Division in South Philadelphia – has been charged and has pled guilty to a two-count Information charging (1) conspiracy to deprive Philadelphia voters of their civil rights by fraudulently stuffing the ballot boxes for specific Democratic candidates in the 2014, 2015, and 2016 primary elections, and (2) a violation of the Travel Act, which forbids the use of any facility in interstate commerce (here, a cell phone) with the intent to promote certain illegal activity (here, bribery).
DeMuro admitted that “an unnamed political consultant gave DeMuro directions and paid him money to illegally add votes for certain Democratic candidates. These candidates were individuals running for judicial office whose campaigns had hired the consultant, as well as other candidates for various federal, state, and local elective offices who were preferred by this consultant for a variety of reasons.
The case makes clear that DeMuro was likely not the only official taking money from the “unnamed political consultant” and the U.S. attorney in this case stated that the investigation was active and ongoing. U.S. Attorney McSwain went on to assure the public “that he taking every possible step that we can to ensure the integrity of the upcoming primary and general elections in the nine counties of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.”
The court documents also make clear that this was not just one election and one race – the court stated that this involved multiple election years and “candidates for various federal, state, and local elective offices.”
U.S. Attorney McSwain’s official remarks on the case can be found HERE.
Court documents state that “the political consultant would solicit monetary payments from his clients in the form of cash or checks as “consulting fees,” and then use portions of these funds to pay Election Board Officials, including DeMuro, in return for tampering with the election results. After receiving payments ranging from between $300 to $5,000 per election from the consultant, DeMuro would add fraudulent votes on the voting machine – also known as “ringing up” votes – for the consultant’s clients and preferred candidates, thereby diluting and distorting the ballots cast by actual voters. DeMuro would add these fraudulent votes to the totals during Election Day, and then would later falsely certify that the voting machine results were accurate.“
“This defendant abused his office by engaging in election fraud for profit,” said Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “Today’s conviction makes it clear that the Department of Justice will do all in its power to protect the integrity of elections and maintain public confidence in all levels of elected government.”
Michael J. Driscoll, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division stated “this is an active, ongoing investigation and we’re asking anyone with information on election fraud to contact the FBI.” Driscoll went on to state: “The FBI’s message today is clear: election interference of any kind, by hostile foreign actors or dishonest local officials, won’t be tolerated.
This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with assistance from the Pennsylvania State Police. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Eric L. Gibson and Richard C. Pilger, U.S. Department of Justice, Director of Elections Crimes Branch, Criminal Division, Public Integrity Section.Component(s): USAO – Pennsylvania, EasternContact: MICHAEL CAVACINI Media Contact 215-861-8300https://www.justice.gov/usao-edpa/pr/remarks-united-states-attorney-william-m-mcswain-regarding-charges-and-guilty-plea