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Hoboken man charged in VBM bribery scheme

By Nikita Biryukov, January 11 2019 12:23 pm

A Hoboken man has been charged with promoting a vote-by-mail bribery scheme in the city, the U.S. Attorney’s office announced Friday.

William Rojas, 68, faces a maximum of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. He is accused of paying voters $50 each to apply for and cast vote-by-mail ballots in the city’s 2015 election.

In September, 55-year-old Hoboken resident Lizaida Camis was arrested for a similar practice allegedly undertaken during the city’s elections in 2013.

Hoboken officials have previously expressed concerns over vote-buying in elections there.

“Voting by mail is a tool that is intended to aid voters, but instead has been rampantly abused by corrupt political campaigns,” Bhalla said in a statement shortly after Camis’ arrest. “Today’s official statement by the United States Attorney’s office proves what we’ve known for years – candidates and campaigns will do anything, including bribing voters, to illegally influence elections here in Hoboken.  Quite simply, buying votes is an unlawful act that undermines our democracy, and must end once and for all.”

As was the case in Camis’s case, bank records show residents depositing $50 checks from an entity associated with the campaign Rojas worked for, authorities said.

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