U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito has submitted an appeal of Hoboken politico Frank Raia’s three-month jail sentence issued in U.S. District Court in Newark last month, taking the case up with the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
” … The United States of America hereby appeals to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit from the District Courtâ€™s judgment of sentence [Docket Entry 73],” Carpenito submitted, also certified by Assistant U.S. Attorney and Chief of the Appeals Division Mark E. Coyne, on January 2nd.
On December 2nd, many political observers were stunned to discover that U.S. District Judge had sentenced Raia to just three months in prison and a $50,000 fine after being convicted of vote-by-mail fraud in June.Â
The maximum sentence was five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
His sentencing was originally scheduled for October 3rd, but that was delayed several times after his attorney,Â Alan Zegas, filed a brief seeking a new trial, claiming that the testimony of several key witnesses could not be trusted since they were cooperating with the government.
Martini ultimately denied that request.
A jury of his peers convicted Raia of running a vote-by-mail fraud scheme in 2013 that involved members of his inner circle asking low-income residents to fill out VBM ballots for $50 a piece.
At the time, Raia, a prominent developer, was seeking a council-at-large seat and also sought to loosen the city’s rent control via a ballot question. Both those efforts were unsuccessful.
Raia was scheduled to report to prison on March 1st and no timetable has been set for the government’s appeal as of this writing.