After VBM fraud conviction last month, Hoboken’s Raia files motion seeking new trial

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After being convicted of vote-by-mail fraud in connection to the 2013 municipal elections last month, Hoboken politico Frank Raia is seeking a new trial according to new documents filed in the case.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“The relief sought is warranted because: 1) the jury’s guilty verdict was against the weight of the evidence; 2) the rulings of the court at trial, which were adverse to defendant, compromised the right of defendant to due process and a fair trial,” Alan Zegas, Raia’s criminal defense attorney, wrote in a July 9th motion for a new trial.

Zegas also leaves the door open for “any other grounds” set forth by Raia in any upcoming brief or oral arguments before the court and also filed a motion for judgement of acquittal.

Given the unlikelihood of the latter scenario, Zegas has requested 30 days to prepare a brief in support of this motion.

Raia was convicted of VBM fraud related to the 2013 municipal elections, when he was running for councilman-at-large and also supporting a ballot question to loosen the city’s rent control laws, back on June 25th, as Hudson County View first reported.

The jury verdict came inside U.S. District Judge William J. Martini’s court after around four days of testimony about a day-and-a-half of deliberations.

In short, the government, represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Rahul Agarwal and Sean Farrell, had argued that Raia had knowingly led an operation where low-income Hoboken residents were paid $50 in exchange to voting for Raia’s “One Hoboken” slate and yes on the rent control referendum question.

Meanwhile, Zegas countered that all of the evidence presented by the government, which included the testimony of several former “captains” from Raia’s political operation, was circumstantial and that people were only paid by the Let the People Decide super PAC and Bluewater Operations in exchange for campaign work.

After the verdict, Martini scheduled Raia’s sentencing for October 3rd at 10 a.m., where he faces a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

While a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office did not immediately return an email seeking comment on Wednesday, a statement released by U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito hours after the verdict have led many to believe that investigations into VBM fraud in the Mile Square City are far from over.

“The defendant in this case tried to rig a Hoboken municipal election by voting multiple times, both for himself and for a ballot question that he supported,” Carpenito said at the time.

“He did so by deploying his loyal foot soldiers to buy votes from people who he thought were in need of money, and then creating a phony cover story to conceal his tracks. Fortunately, neither federal law enforcement nor the jury was fooled. Today’s verdict underscores this Office’s continued dedication to uncovering, investigating and prosecuting acts of corruption at every level of New Jersey government.”

Zegas also did not immediately return an email seeking comment.

49 COMMENTS

  1. Frank, hang in there, we are here for you. Ravi asked me to say again what he can’t but as he said recently, you are an asset to Hoboken.

    There’s no scenario where Ravi won’t support you for the NHSA or whatever you want in Hoboken. Don’t listen to anyone who says differently, especially that fake Shadow Mayor. He really messed up Union Dry Dock for Ravi.

    • Sleazy Mikey D’s crew trying to divert attention from the fact that Frank
      “Pupie” Raia was a $9.400 asset to in the last mayoral election.

      Have to wonder who else Mikey D is taking money from and what he promised in return.

  2. If Frank”Pupie” Raia gets a new trial, will Hoboken’s First Ward Councilman Michael DeFusco testify on the behalf of his very generous ($9.400.00) recent mayoral campaign contributor Raia along with their mutual employee Ryan Yacco ?

  3. In fact, I’m told that it is routine for losing Defendants call for a re-trial. Now Frank has 30 days to come up with a legal justification for his demand. What could be very interesting is the release of trial transcript excerpts with the Raia brief and U.S. Attny’s reply brief. I am hoping that one of the sides puts the whole trial transcript into public record!

    • The pending appeal also extends the period during which a plea bargain can be reached. If Pupie has something of value to say, he can still proffer it.

        • You say the same three things all day. It’s like you don’t know how to talk to grown-ups and just repeat your catch phrases in every situation. Frank Raia asset to the city. Anthony Russo invited to city hall. 10 minutes to Wapner. Kmart underwear. The good news is that it softens Tiffany’s image. It makes it seem like she doesn’t let social handicaps keep her from hiring staff.

          • You don’t like the truth about Ravi?
            So what. Ravi Bhalla likes doing deals.

            No one forced him to bring the Hoboken King of Corruption into the mayor’s office as his first order of business. Just a Ravi-Russo deal.

            No one forced Ravi Bhalla to announce Frank Raia is an asset to Hoboken and will continue to be. Just a Ravi-Raia deal.

            It’s dumb to think one person points to those facts and blame a councilwoman. The misogyny out of the mayor’s office for councilwomen who are not wholly obedient is disgraceful.

          • Yeah but Nancy, Mark and the mayor’s office operatives knew it wasn’t one person making factual points about the boss, that would show they ain’t a bunch of morons.

            Fat chance of that happening. Idiots!

          • 10 minutes to Wapner. Good government council. Asset to Hoboken. Kmart underwear. Terror flyer. 10 minutes to Wapner. Lime juicing.
            4 more dollars.

        • Ravi Bhalla political operatives’ rule: Honest work bad, Ravi’s no show job in a Republican law firm for tens of thousands of dollars trading on government contracts, good.

          You can’t make up this kind of stupid.

    • Pupie should talk to his boy Mikey D and his crew for advise, they are very good at trying to justify doing sleazy things and besides he owes him for the thousands of dollars he gave him. Nothin is done for nothin on the Dark Side.

  4. The disgrace is that the decision had to rely on the two bigest mishaps in Hoboken History. Holmsie & Calliciccio! Shame on the FBI, going to any lenght to convict somebody while everybody else gets scared and starts cutting deals. If it ends here with Frank somebody dropped the ball. Because there has been so much more corrupt behavior in Hoboken over the years. Frank being the scapegoat is extremely unfair to his family.

    • Pupie probably deserves far more of a punishment then he will get.
      Without Pupie’s deep pockets and agenda Holmsie and Callicccio would just be two pathetic shims.

  5. There’s only ONE elected official that had to vacate office because of VBM’s in a campaign supported by Raia and that was DAWN ( Mrs. Linda Lou) Zimmer

    • False. Cammarano had to vacate office after winning by a narrow margin of VBMs “found in the box” at the county. Tony Soares made such a publicity stunt out of distancing himself from Pete’s transition team it was almost comical.

      • Stan likes that spin, it was Dawn who had to leave because of Absentees. Camranno left because he took bribes.

        • Only one person on that list was sucking up to Cammy and his inner circle like his political life depended on it and that person is Tony Soares. LOL

        • I think it’s fair to say that Soares will never again be on the ballot because, unlike Bhalla, he truly is unelectable.

          Even in a world where a lowlife like Trump could be elected there are depths to which voters will not sink.

          • Obviously Hoboken voters are still aiming for the bottom. After electing Zimmer they followed with Bhalla. Although Ravi won with only 34% of the vote he will try to get reelected. Should he win then it can be said that Hoboken has hit rock bottom.

          • Either will Stan the guy accused of cleansing the HHA and that accuser got a 750,000 payout

          • Stan Grossbard who loves to post people’s names and attempt to destroy reputations obviously has some real pent up hate for him, or is it something that has more to do with prejudices than politics.

            Dawn Zimmer’s pals polled Soares name last year so it’s ironic that they wasted their money in those polls.

            His pathetic wife is now back tweeting hearsay in private conversations… wonder if it’s backed up in the vertical margins of her whacky diary?

          • LL/Stan, are you suggesting that the bigotry that was applied to the term “Unelectable” with Bhalla is bad, but if Soares is unelectable for the same kind reason ( Bigotry) is okay?

          • “Shocked” you bring up a good point, is Linda suggesting because Soares is a dwarf “he truly is unelectable.”

            Pretty appalling if Linda is Stan the ex mayor’s husband and advisor.

    • I think you should just use the screen name “Dufusgreatesthits.”

      Or else you should try out new material. Maybe you need to consult with a creative director.

      • Stan Grossbard should know better lawyers after all he used many and his wife’s screw up cost the public enough
        Or were they her screw ups? Given that Stan Grossbard’s email trail is more obvious than finger prints left by the Manson gang at a murder scene.

        His HHA emails
        BOE choice emails
        Resolutions to the council emails
        Directing Jake emails

        Wonder if there are any to any others?

        I hear some BOE and Rent Leveling members have a treasure trove full!

  6. Boy there’s a helluva lotta smearing by Zimmer’s puppet masters.
    For them to deny her past political ties with Raia is hilarious!
    Raia for Freeholder
    Raia for Sewer Commission
    Raia for endorsements and campaign supporter in Housing projects

    Pile on the bile by her nasty crew and if it’s really Stan calling a guy unelectable because he’s a little person, that’s just as bad as what was rumored about Ravi- Only it’s actually in print here !

      • She’s not running
        She never was
        It was Stan back then and it’s Worse now because it’s Stan Grossbard and Vijay Chaudheri now in all 6 Wards

        Two of the nastiest pricks this town ever saw.

    • It is kinda funny. The truth is apparently there was enough waste of taxpayer money in City Hall that Bhalla when forced to do so showed he actually could do more with less. So really what you are saying Nancy is the City Council was right in pushing to reducing the budget to eliminate the mayor’s wasteful spending habits. That is funny! You actually praising the City Council!

        • The truth is that Ravi Bhalla exploded the cost of the mayor’s office and fireworks in Hoboken is a no-go but Ravi Bhalla and his fattened staff and overpaid operatives should go!

          Don’t go to Nancy’s sewer site unless you wish to risk having your information/identity turned over to equally nasty political operatives in the mayor’s office.

        • We have the latest Vision Media press releases for Mike Defusco and Ruben Ramos. We’ll be your communications center for the whole Sacco/Vision Media Team! Now if you’re looking for ELEC reports, analysis of VBMs or interviews with anyone not on our Good Government ticket, you’ll have to look elsewhere. We just pump out what we’re told to pump out.

        • With any luck one or all TEAM SACCO (DeFusco, Fisher, Giatinno and Ramos ) will history before the next 4th of July.

          Team Sacco is trying to recruit additional spoiler candidates to try to force a runoff and as we all know runoffs are where the Old Guard politicos and their modern day proxies are most comfortable farming votes. Team Sacco’s candidates must be getting worried after the Federal voter fraud convictions to put a plan B into play.

          Little wonder why Cunningham stepped away and is trying to distance himself from the stink coming off this crew.

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