Sentencing for Hoboken man who pleaded guilty to 2013 VBM fraud postponed

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The sentencing for a Hoboken man who was indicted on the same day as Frank Raia last year before eventually pleading guilty to his role in a vote-by-mail fraud scheme in the 2013 municipal elections has been postponed.By John Heinis/Hudson County View

Dio Braxton was scheduled to be sentenced at 10 a.m. today by U.S. District Court Judge William J. Martini, but that hearing was adjourned, U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesman Matt Reilly told HCV.

Reilly also said that a new sentencing date has not been scheduled yet as of this morning.

Along with Raia, Braxton was indicted on Halloween last year and pleaded not guilty in November before eventually changing his plea to guilty in May.

Back in June, Raia was convicted of participating of a vote-by-mail fraud scheme in connection to the 2013 municipal elections, where he was running for council-at-large and also pushing to loosen the city’s rent control laws via referendum question.

Although number of members of Raia’s inner circle testified that Raia had explicitly instructed them to pay people for their vote-by-mail ballots, Braxton was not one of them.

As only HCV reported, counsel for Raia has filed a motion seeking a new trial, claiming that the witnesses cooperating with the government could not be trusted since their sentencing will be impacted by what they said on the stand.

Yesterday, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito filed a brief opposing a new trial, arguing that the weight of the evidence clearly supports the jury’s verdict and that “the government’s summation did not mischaracterize the evidence or improperly inflame the jury.”

“Raia’s challenge to the credibility of his co-conspirators’ testimony falls well short of establishing that the verdict was against the weight of the evidence,” Carpenito wrote.

“In addition, he has failed to show that the Government’s arguments during summation mischaracterized evidence or improperly inflamed the jury. Accordingly, Raia’s motion for a new trial should be denied.”

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