A former U.S. congressman has been sentenced to 30 months in prison following a guilty plea on charges of election fraud which unfairly benefited Democratic candidates.
Michael “Ozzie” Myers, who represented Pennsylvania in the U.S. Congress from 1976 to 1980, is not a rookie when it comes to crime. Myers was among seven members of Congress convicted on charges of bribery and corruption in the FBI sting operation “Abscam” that commenced in 1978 and ended in 1980. Myers was summarily expelled from Congress, serving three years in federal prison for his crimes.
But just like his namesake from the famed “Halloween” franchise of horror films, Michael Myers is back.
The now-79-year-old has been sentenced to 2 and 1/2 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to “conspiracy to deprive voters of civil rights, bribery, obstruction of justice, falsification of voting records, conspiring to illegally vote in a federal election, and orchestrating schemes to fraudulently stuff the ballot boxes for specific Democratic candidates in the 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 Pennsylvania elections,” the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) said in a statement.
“Protecting the legitimacy of elections is critical to ensuring the public’s trust in the process,” FBI Philadelphia Division Special Agent in Charge Jacqueline Maguire said in a press release last week. “Through his actions, Ozzie Myers pointedly disdained both the will of Philadelphia voters and the rule of law. He’s now a federal felon twice over, heading back behind bars, with time to consider the great consequence of free and fair elections.”
Myers was also ordered to pay $100,000 in fines and will remain under supervision for three years upon his future release. Specifically, the DOJ accused Myers of bribing former Philadelphia election judge Domenick J. Demuro in a ballot-stuffing scheme designed to aid Democratic candidates. Demuro pleaded guilty to charges surrounding his role in the scheme in 2020.
Myers was also embroiled in an election fraud conspiracy with former Philadelphia election judge Marie Beren. She pleaded guilty to that crime in 2021.
“Free and fair elections are the hallmark of our system of government,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian C. Rabbitt of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “The Department of Justice has zero tolerance for corruption of the electoral process, and we will spare no effort in investigating and prosecuting those who would seek an unfair advantage at the polls by bribing state and local officials responsible for ensuring the fairness of our elections.”
“Voting is the cornerstone of our democracy. If even one vote has been illegally cast or if the integrity of just one election official is compromised, it diminishes faith in process,” U.S. Attorney Jacqueline C. Romero said in the press release. “This defendant used his position, knowledge of the process, and connections to fix elections for his preferred candidates, which demonstrates a truly flagrant disregard for the laws which govern our elections. He will now spend 30 months in prison as penalty for his crimes.”
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