Four men have admitted to the role in a program that offered homeless people in Skid Row money and cigarettes in exchange for false and forged signatures on ballot applications and voter registration forms, the Los Angeles District Attorney announced today.
Richard Howard (dob 12.01.56) and Louis Thomas Wise (dob 04.08.82) did not plead for a crime on Friday, in which a fictitious name or the name of another for an initiative petition and the registration of a fictitious person. Christopher Joseph Williams (dob 5/2/79) and Nickey Demelvin Huntley (dob 9/2/74) each did not plead against a crime, an initiative or a petition with false, fake or fictitious names.
Howard was immediately sentenced to three years in prison and three years suspended. A suspended sentence can be imposed if an accused violates the conditions of his probation.
Wise was sentenced to 16 months in prison and three years suspended.
Williams and Huntley were sentenced to three years of parole.
In February the co-accused Norman Hall (dob 11/1/57) pleaded guilty to circulating a petition with false, fake or fictitious names. He was immediately sentenced to one year in prison, suspended for three years, and sentenced to 100 hours of community service.
Deputy District Attorney Marian Thompson from the Department of Public Integrity is following the case.
The four remaining defendants face various charges, including the use of false names in a petition and election fraud.
The defendants have been accused of requesting hundreds of false and / or forged signatures on government ballot applications and voter registration forms by offering homeless people $ 1 and / or cigarettes for their participation.
The indictment shows that the crimes were committed during the 2016 and 2018 election cycles.
Three of the remaining defendants are scheduled to return to court on September 1 for a hearing in Department 108 of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center. Jakara Fati Mardis (dob 17.05.83) is at large.
Case BA475943 was investigated by the Los Angeles Police Department and the FBI's Los Angeles Field Office.
About the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office
Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey heads the country's largest local prosecutor. Its nearly 1,000 attorneys, 300 investigators and 800 employees are committed to protecting our community through a fair and ethical pursuit of justice and the protection of the rights of crime victims.