Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Goodwin Charges Lincoln County Commissioner with False Statement to FBI

Thomas Ramey, Jr. is the Third Lincoln County Official Charged in Connection with Absentee Voting Probe

CHARLESTON, WV—U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin today charged Lincoln County Commissioner Thomas Ramey, Jr. with making a false statement to an FBI agent in connection with an absentee voting fraud investigation. According to a charging document filed by Goodwin this morning, Ramey falsely told an FBI agent he did not know who altered certain absentee ballot applications after they were filed with the Lincoln County Clerk’s Office. In fact, Goodwin says, Ramey himself had caused someone else to alter the applications and was present when that person altered the applications. The charging document says Ramey made the false statement on or around February 7, 2012.

Earlier this year, two other Lincoln County officials pled guilty and resigned their offices in connection with an absentee vote fraud scheme. Former Lincoln County Sheriff Jerry Bowman pled guilty to conspiring to deprive voters of their rights. Former Lincoln County Clerk Donald Whitten pled guilty to making a false statement to an investigator.

If convicted, Ramey faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Today’s charge results from an investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and investigator Jim Wise of the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office. Counsel to the United States Attorney Steve Ruby and Assistant United States Attorney Thomas Ryan are leading the prosecution.

The charges contained in an Information are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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