A man involved in gathering signatures for ballot initiatives admitted Wednesday to his role in a large-scale scheme to bribe homeless people on Skid Row to forge registered voters’ signatures, prosecutors said.
Norman Hall, 62, pleaded guilty to circulating a petition with false names and was immediately sentenced to one year in county jail, three years’ formal probation and 100 hours of community service, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release.
He and eight others were charged in the ploy, in which they would allegedly give the homeless $1 each and cigarettes in exchange for forgery. The group amassed hundreds of false signatures to help initiatives qualify in the 2016 and 2018 election cycles, the DA’s office said.
The Los Angeles Police Department and FBI investigated the fraud.
“They paid individuals to sign the names,” LAPD Officer Deon Joseph previously told the Los Angeles Times. “That’s an assault on our democracy.”
The remaining defendants are expected to appear in court for a pretrial hearing on May 5.