Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Willie Rojas joins Matt Calicchio admitting to voter fraud conspiracy in 2015 Hoboken election

Official release:


USAO NJ Seal 3
United States Attorney District of New Jersey


HOBOKEN MAN ADMITS PARTICIPATING IN VOTER BRIBERY SCHEME

NEWARK, N.J. – A Hoboken, New Jersey, today man admitted his role in a conspiracy to promote a voter bribery scheme during a municipal election in Hoboken, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced. 

William Rojas, 69, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge William J. Martini in Newark federal court to an information charging him with conspiring with others to use the mail to promote a voter bribery scheme during the 2015 municipal election in Hoboken. 

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Under New Jersey law, registered voters are permitted to cast a ballot by mail rather than in person. To receive a mail-in ballot, voters must complete and submit to their county clerk’s office an Application for Vote By Mail Ballot (VBM Application). After the VBM Application is processed, voters receive a mail-in ballot. 

From September 2015 through November 2015, Rojas worked for a candidate for the Hoboken City Council (Candidate 1). At Candidate 1’s direction, Rojas and a conspirator, Matthew Calicchio, agreed to pay certain Hoboken voters $50 each if those voters applied for and cast mail-in ballots for the November 2015 Hoboken municipal election. Rojas provided these voters with VBM applications and told them they would get paid $50 for casting mail-in ballots. After receiving the completed mail-in ballots from voters, Rojas and Calicchio reviewed them to ensure that voters had voted for Candidate 1. After the election, Rojas delivered $50 checks to the voters whose mail-in ballots he collected. Calicchio previously pleaded guilty to his role in the scheme and is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 7, 2019.

Rojas faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 20, 2020. 

U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie in Newark, and special agents of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of the Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Christina Scaringi, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea. 
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean Farrell of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Special Prosecutions Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Rahul Agarwal, Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division. 

19-303
  
Defense Counsel: Kevin F. Carlucci Esq., Assistant Federal Public Defender, Newark

Related from the US DOJ in Newark: "The Goal of the Conspiracy"

Goal of the Conspiracy

3. The goal of the conspiracy was to bribe voters by paying them to apply for and cast mail-in ballots in support of Candidate 1.


Manner and Means of the Conspiracy

4. It was part of the conspiracy that:
A. At Candidate 1's direction, ROJAS and Calicchio promised voters that they
would be paid $50 if they applied for and cast mail-in ballots for the 2015 Election for Candidate
1.

B. After the 2015 Election, at Candidate 1's direction, ROJAS and Calicchio delivered $50 checks to the voters that were drawn on the Campaign Committee's bank account.

For the complete details, please see the US DOJ link:

https://content.govdelivery.com/attachments/USDOJUSAO/2019/10/08/file_attachments/1300434/Rojas.Information.pdf