Authorities in Los Angeles have indicted nine people on felony voter-fraud charges, accusing the defendants of using homeless people to forge signatures on voter-registration and petition forms.
According to NBC News, the indictment involves 14 felony counts related to electioneering in the 2016 and 2018 political cycles, though none of the nine defendants has been charged on all of them.
The charges in the indictment include, according to NBC, “circulating an initiative with forged or fictitious names, signing fictitious names, registering fictitious persons, and making payment for signatures.”
The suspects are accused of bribing homeless people on Los Angeles’ Skid Row with cash or cigarettes in exchange for the signatures, transactions that were observed by beat police and then by undercover officers.
Seven suspects pleaded not guilty Friday in Los Angeles; the other two persons charges have not appeared in court yet, NBC reported.
The charges could result in up to four years imprisonment.