HOBOKEN, NJ - A Hoboken man who pleaded guilty to charges stemming from voter fraud in the 2015 Hoboken municipal elections was sentenced to one year of probation Wednesday.
70 year-old William Rojas was convicted of using the U.S. Postal Service to execute a voter bribery scheme in which individuals were paid upwards of $50 for their votes in the local election. Those votes were cast via vote-by-mail.
Rojas and others would check the ballots to ensure that the voters had voted for the correct candidates and on the side of any referendum that was favored by local Hoboken real estate and perennial politico Frank 'Pupie' Raia. The completed ballots were then mailed to the Hudson County Clerk’s Office, and the voters received $50 checks from an entity associated with Raia.
Rojas' involvement has been linked to the 2015 Hoboken municipal election.
Ringleader Frank ‘Pupie’ Raia started out in the garment and hospitality industries, before becoming a real estate developer. Filling a sudden vacancy, Pupie served as a Councilman in 1988 after the death of Hoboken Mayor Tom Vezzetti. He ran for freeholder in 1993. He also served on the school board—an elected position—from 2003 to 2009. In 2005, he lost a Mayoral bid. When he ran again in 2009, he boasted how he wouldn’t accept any contributions. Despite spending $300,000 of his own money, he lost. In 2013, he was on the ballot as an At-Large Council candidate. He lost that election, too.
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