PHILADELPHIA, PA – Former Democratic U.S. Rep. Michael J. “Ozzie” Myers entered a plea of guilty on Monday to multiple charges in connection with fraud and corruption throughout multiple elections during his tenure as a Congressman, including accusations of bribing judges and stuffing ballot boxes with fraudulent votes.
Myers, 79 – who served in Congress from 1976 to 1980, when he was expelled after being caught on camera taking bribes – admitted that in the years since he had bribed local Judges of Elections to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars to increase the number of votes for specific candidates who were clients of his.
In addition, Myers also copped to charges that, between the years of 2014 and 2018, he had been the mastermind of a scheme to stuff Pennsylvania ballot boxes with fake votes favoring Democratic candidates.
Myers’ ballot box stuffing did not take place during the 2020 presidential election, prosecutors noted, which former President Donald Trump has repeatedly alleged was tainted by purported claims of widespread voter fraud.
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“[Myers’] criminal efforts were generally, although not exclusively, directed at securing election victories for local judicial candidates running for Philadelphia’s Court of Common Pleas or Municipal Court who had employed Myers as a ‘political consultant.’”
On Monday, Myers pleaded guilty to multiple charges, including conspiracy to deprive voters of civil rights, bribery, obstruction of justice, falsification of voting records, and conspiring to illegally vote in a federal election.
One of Myers’ co-conspirators, former South Philadelphia Judge of Elections Marie Beren, was also charged and pleaded guilty for her crimes in October 2021.
Upon Myers’ guilty plea, U.S. Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams said that successfully prosecuting perpetrators of election fraud will hopefully go towards reestablishing trust in free and fair elections with the public.
“Voting is the cornerstone of our democracy,” she said. “If even one vote has been illegally cast or if the integrity of just one election official is compromised, it diminishes faith in process.”
Myers is being allowed to remain out of jail leading up to his sentencing, the date of which has not yet been set.