– Attorney General Paula T. Dow and
Criminal Justice Director Stephen J. Taylor
today announced that 11 people have been
arrested since yesterday in connection with
alleged voter fraud schemes involving the
May 2010 Paterson city council election.
to Director Taylor, the following people
were arrested yesterday on charges of second-
and third-degree voter fraud and third-degree
tampering with public record: Belkis M.
Cespedes, 50, of Paterson; Ana Vely-Gomez,
47, of Paterson; Lucia A. Guzman, 41, of
Paterson; Inocencio Jimenez, 55, of Paterson;
and Jose Ramon Ruiz, 62, of Prospect Park.
In addition, Dalila Rodriguez, 60, of Paterson,
and Wilson A. Torres, 29, of Paterson were
arrested yesterday on charges of third-degree
voter fraud and third-degree tampering with
following people were arrested today and
charged with third-degree voter fraud and
third-degree tampering with public records:
Octavio A. Dominguez, 47, of Elmwood Park;
Juana A. Gil, 43, of Paterson; Jose E. Gonzalez,
42, of Paterson; and Loudes Inoa, 37, Paterson.
of the defendants were arrested by members
of the New Jersey State Police Official
Corruption North Unit and were transported
to the Totowa Station, issued complaint
summonses and released. They will be ordered
to appear at the Passaic County Superior
Court at a later date yet to be determined.
addition, Ricardo A. Fermin-Cepeda, 24,
of Paterson, was charged with second- and
third-degree voter fraud and third-degree
tampering with public records. Fermin-Cepeda
is currently a fugitive.
defendants arrested today and yesterday,
as well as Fermin-Cepeda, all allegedly
acted as bearers/messengers for mail-in
(absentee) ballots. The complaint summonses
allege that the defendants tampered with
mail-in ballots and/or voted mail-in ballots
on behalf of voters who did not receive
the ballots or who did not authorize them
to vote for them.
is also alleged that Cespedes voted twice
– once using her married named of
Belkis Cespedes and once using her maiden
name of Belkis Nunez.
the May 2010 city council election, the
Division of Criminal Justice received complaints
of possible voter fraud. The Division of
Criminal Justice Corruption Bureau and the
New Jersey State Police Official Corruption
Unit launched an investigation approximately
one week after the election.
investigation is being coordinated by Detective
Brian Murphy of the New Jersey State Police
Official Corruption North Unit and Deputy
Attorney General Vincent Militello of the
Division of Criminal Justice Corruption
crimes carry a maximum sentence of 10 years
in state prison and a criminal fine of $150,000,
while third-degree crimes carry a maximum
sentence of five years in state prison and
a $15,000 fine.
the charges are indictable offenses, this
case is subject to presentation to a grand
jury for potential indictment. The charges
are merely accusations and the defendants
are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Taylor noted that the Division of Criminal
Justice has established a toll-free tipline
for the public to report corruption, financial
fraud and other illegal activities: 1-866-TIPS-4CJ.
Additionally, the public can log on to the
Division of Criminal Justice Web site at
to report suspected wrongdoing. All information
received through the Division of Criminal
Justice tipline or Web page will remain