Friday, July 31, 2009

Would-be chief pleads guilty to vote-buying scam - CBC

Would-be chief pleads guilty to vote-buying scam:

Charles Meechance pleaded guilty on Thursday morning to fraud in a vote-buying scam on an Indian reserve south of North Battleford, Sask.

Meechance, 51, was the second man to take a guilty plea in the scam. Bert Benson pleaded guilty to fraud and was sentenced last week to 15 months of community service.

Meechance was declared the winner of the 2005 band election for chief on the Red Pheasant First Nation, which is about 50 kilometres south of North Battleford.

It later emerged that Meechance, along with another man, Bert Benson, paid cash for votes, operating the scam from a motel room in North Battleford.

According to an agreed statement of facts in the case, in the run-up to the April 9, 2005, election, Benson and others handed out between $80 and $250 each time a band member completed a mail-in ballot in favour of the chief and band council candidates for whom Benson was working.

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