GOP Operative At Center Of 2018 Election Fraud Case Pleads Guilty To Benefits Fraud, Other Cases Pending

The Associated Press reports:

A key figure in a North Carolina investigation into ballot fraud in a 2018 congressional race pleaded guilty on Monday to federal charges he unlawfully accepted Social Security benefits when concealing other money he earned.

Leslie McCrae Dowless Jr., 65, entered the plea before U.S. District Judge Terrence Boyle for theft of government property and Social Security fraud, according to court records. Dowless’ trial had been scheduled to begin Monday.

His sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 23, with the charges carrying a combined maximum sentence of 15 years, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for eastern North Carolina. Dowless still faces state charges involving the 2016 and 2018 elections.

Read the full article. The alleged interference in the 2018 US House race resulted in the state elections board ordering a do-ever election. Dowless had been working for anti-LGBT preacher Mark Harris, who subsequently declared that he was too ill to run in the second election, which was won in 2019 by Republican Dan Bishop. Last year Bishop easily won reelection.