Thursday, July 18, 2019

Frank Raia announces fight to overturn voter fraud conviction

Announcing his intent to file a motion to overturn his conviction in the Hoboken voter fraud case, Frank Raia will seek to set aside the jury verdict or a new trial.

Raia's defense counsel filed his intent to seek a new trial with the Federal District Court in Newark on July 9th after a jury convicted him for leading a conspiracy with others in a massive bribery pay-for-votes scheme in Hoboken with Vote by Mail ballots and the mail.

According to confessions at trial, Raia directed a group of supporters who sought out Hoboken residents in subsidized housing paying hundreds of those residents $50 each for their votes. 

In the motion notice, defense counsel Alan Zegas indicated he will seek his client's acquittal or alternatively a new trial. Three points alleged the jury verdict is against the weight of evidence at trial, court rulings hindered due process and further grounds determined by counsel.

Zegas requested 30 days to file the corresponding motion. Raia will be sentenced in the same federal court on October 3rd. He faces up to five years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.

Back on June 25th, Raia, a Hoboken political heavyweight who aspired to one day be mayor of the Mile Square City was convicted for VBM fraud in the 2013 municipal election where he was also a council candidate on the "One Hoboken" ticket.  

A ballot question seeking to loosen rent control in Hoboken was also a target of Raia's efforts according to government witnesses who testified at trial including Beth Mason's former longtime political operative employee, Matt Calicchio.

One of a more than a dozen Raia supporters in the hallway spoke on his phone saying minutes before the verdict, "Matt stabbed Frank in the back." 

Raia's conviction came after about a day of jury deliberations in a weeklong trial, first reported here on Hobokenhorse.com. 

Testimony at trial and an earlier guilty plea entered last January for illegal VBM activities by a resident of Fox Hill Gardens in the 2015 Hoboken election suggests the federal investigation into voter fraud in the Mile Square City is continuing. 

The controversial 2017 Hoboken election is also thought under scrutiny. A racist terror flyer was deployed several days before that election feigning an appeal to Hoboken voters against then-mayoral candidate Ravi Bhalla. 


Frank Raia and his "One Hoboken" slate backer former councilwoman Beth Mason as seen in this
2013 photo.


Related: The exclusive feature back in early March, "The Feds are everywhere."