Jury selection is underway this morning and opening arguments may be heard in United States vs. Francis Raia before Judge Martini in Newark.
|Frank "Pupie" Raia in better times as seen in this 2013 photo with former councilwoman Beth Mason who teamed up|
with him in the 2013 Hoboken election. He's facing federal charges at trial for allegedly leading a voter bribery scheme that year.
Raia or as he's more commonly called Pupie in Hoboken faced indictment back on Halloween. The US Department of Justice in Newark stated in its release:
From October 2013 through November 2013, Raia instructed Braxton and other conspirators to pay certain Hoboken voters $50 if those voters applied for and cast mail-in ballots in the November 2013 Hoboken municipal election. Conspirators provided these voters with VBM applications and then delivered the completed VBM Applications to the Hudson County Clerk’s office.
After the mail-in ballots were delivered to the voters, the conspirators went to the voters’ residences and, in some cases, instructed the voters to vote for Raia and in favor of a ballot referendum that Raia supported relating to rent control. 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. Bank records show that voters living in Hoboken received $50 checks from an entity hired by Raia’s political action committee.
As a result, Raia, 67 faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine on the conspiracy charge.