Louisiana city councilman arrested on eight counts of election fraud

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AMITE CITY, LA – An arrest was recently made in Amite City pertaining to alleged election fraud, but the suspect implicated in the alleged offense bears some troubling concerns. Apparently, the Amite City Councilman is being charged with eight counts of election fraud.

According to a statement made by both Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry and Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin on January 7th, Amite City Councilman Emanuel Zanders was arrested for allegedly submitting falsified voter registration applications that he knew to be materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent.

During a conference in Baton Rouge, AG Landry and Secretary Ardoin addressed the press expressing how important election integrity is given the current times. 

AG Landry stated: 

“Anything other than a one-for-one vote distorts our election process.”

“Those who wish to distort an election in this matter are breaking the law and betraying their fellow citizens. It is even more disheartening when the perpetrator is an elected official.”

Following those same sentiments, Secretary Ardoin added:

“Election integrity matters…Yesterday’s arrest is the culmination of work by my office, the Attorney General’s Office, the Registrar of Voters, and others; and it proves that the multi-level checks and balances of our election processes and procedures work.”

“This should serve as a stark warning to those looking to violate our election laws.”

From what officials say on the matter, Zanders became the target of a joint investigation conducted by the the Louisiana Bureau of Investigation and the Secretary of State’s Office.

Back in October of 2020, the Tangipahoa Parish Registrar of Voters – which Amite City resides within said parish – had reached out to the Secretary of State’s Office when concerns first started cropping up about potential fraudulent voter registration forms containing bogus addresses. 

This led investigators to finding evidence that Zanders allegedly duped over twenty people within Louisiana into signing incomplete registration forms that he would later alter the address information for. 

Outside of that alleged series of acts, it’s further alleged that Zanders submitted another voter registration application of another Louisiana resident where he put down his own address on their application. 

Concluding the statements on the recent arrest and charging of Zanders, AG Landry noted: 

“Election integrity is the bedrock of our election process. I am proud of the work Secretary Ardoin has done to protect our elections and weed out bad actors who wish to betray our system and way of life.”

According to Louisiana Election Code RS 18:1461.2, Zanders could face up to two years in prison for each count of election fraud if convicted. 

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In other cases pertaining to alleged forms of fraud, a prison inmate in Georgia is said to have been involved in a money laundering and fraud scheme to the tune of $11 million. 

Here’s that previous report. 

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ATLANTA, GA – In a course of action similar to the millions of dollars bilked out of the state of California by federal and state inmates, a Georgia federal prison inmate and two others on the outside were indicted on Friday for conducting a “multi-million-dollar fraud scheme from the confines of his prison cell.”

A federal grand jury indicted a man serving a prison sentence in a Georgia Correctional facility and two others for conspiracy to commit bank fraud and money laundering, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The indictment alleges that Arthur Cofield, an inmate at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Butts County, Georgia, conducted an incredible fraud worth millions, according U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak.

Arthur Cofield, 29, Eldridge Bennett, 63, and Eliayah Bennett, 25, all of Atlanta, were indicted on multiple counts of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and money laundering.

According to U.S. Attorney Pak, the charges, and other information presented in court:

“Arthur Cofield is an inmate at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Butts County, Georgia, serving a 14-year sentence for armed robbery.

“He is also currently under indictment in Fulton County, Georgia, charged with attempted murder.”

In the indictment, unsealed December 11th, the U.S. Attorney’s Office alleges:

“In June 2020, using a contraband cell phone, Cofield obtained multiple means of identification for victim S.K., and gained access to an online account owned by S.K., and managed by Charles Schwab.

On June 5, 2020, Cofield impersonated S.K., and called a Charles Schwab customer service representative to inquire about opening a checking account.

“The customer service representative informed Cofield that a form of identification and utility bill would be required to complete the verification process.

“At Cofield’s request, a co-conspirator texted Cofield with a picture of S.K.’s driver’s license and a Los Angeles, California, Department of Water and Power utility bill.

“On June 8, 2020, Cofield submitted via email a purchase inquiry to Money Metals Exchange, LLC, a precious metals dealer based in Idaho, for the purchase of gold coins.

“Purporting to be S.K., while communicating with representatives of Money Metals Exchange, LLC, Cofield agreed to purchase 6,106 American Gold Eagle one-ounce coins for the price of $10,998,859.92.

“That same day, a female co-conspirator claiming to be calling on behalf of her husband contacted a Charles Schwab customer service representative and inquired about the verification procedures to initiate a wire transfer.

Later, Cofield impersonated S.K., and called a Charles Schwab customer service representative to inquire about sending a wire transfer in the amount of $11,000,000.

“During the call, Cofield falsely claimed to be S.K., and referenced the earlier call made by the female co-conspirator.

Based on these false representations, Charles Schwab wired $11,000,000 from the account belonging to S.K., to an account controlled by Money Metals Exchange, LLC.

On June 13, 2020, Cofield hired a private security company to transport the purchased gold coins from Boise, Idaho, to Atlanta, Georgia, by chartered private plane.

On June 16, 2020, the private security team landed at the Atlanta Signature Airport and met with co-defendant Eldridge Maurice Bennett. Bennett presented a false identification document to the private security team and took possession of the gold coins.

In July 2020, Cofield contacted the landowner of a six-bedroom residence located near West Paces Ferry, in Atlanta, Georgia, and offered to buy the property for $4.4 million.

The landowner eventually received approximately $720,000 in cash as down payment from Eldridge Bennett and a woman Cofield described as his wife, Eliayah Bennett. At the closing on September 1, 2020, Eldridge Bennet conveyed the remaining $3.7 million in cash to the landowner.”

Remarking on the case, U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak stated:

“Some prisoners aren’t interested in rehabilitation or paying their debt to society.  The allure of millions of dollars in gold, coupled with contraband prison cellphones, allegedly was enough for Cofield to commit a brazen million-dollar fraud scheme from the confines of his prison cell.”

Tommy D. Coke, Inspector in Charge of the Atlanta Division, US Postal Service, commented:

“This elaborate fraud scheme is truly shocking in its scope and nature.  The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is committed to ensuring the U.S. Mail is not utilized as a tool in this type of fraud and to holding the responsible parties fully accountable for their actions.”

United States Secret Service Special Agent in Charge of the Secret Service’s Atlanta Field Office Steven R. Baisel, who was involved in the investigation, stated:

 “The Secret Service worked closely with our partners and shared information and resources to ultimately bring this criminal to justice.  Today’s indictment proves that there is no such thing as anonymity for those engaging in fraudulent schemes.”

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