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Consultant pleads guilty to defrauding New Haven Probate Judge candidate

A Waterbury man has pleaded guilty to federal fraud charges stemming from a 2017 race for New Haven Probate Judge.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s office, Victor Cuevas, 58, was accused of co-operating a Connecticut-based political consulting firm named Yellow Dog Strategies (YDS). Cuevas is a former Connecticut State Representative and was on probation at the time after he was found guilty in federal court in 2016 of “conspiring with others to commit bank fraud in connection with his home mortgage loan applications.” 

His company, YDS, was reportedly hired in 2017 by a potential primary candidate in the race to collect signatures to get them on the ballot. 

YDS was paid $5,750 for the work which the U.S. Attorney says was never completed. Instead, Cuevas is accused of conspiring with others to submit falsified petitions, causing “signatures of registered voters to be forged on petitions and caused the signature of a purported Circulator to be forged on a Statement of Authenticity.”

The U.S. Attorney’s office says the candidate was unaware of the forgeries and submitted the signatures. The New Haven Democratic Registrar of Voters discovered the forgeries and the candidate withdrew from the primary.

Cuevas pleaded guilty in New Haven federal court to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison. He is scheduled to be sentenced on January 17 and has been released pending that sentencing on a $100,000 bond.

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Tricia Ennis

An Emmy and AP award-winning journalist, Tricia has spent more than a decade working in digital and broadcast media. She has covered everything from government corruption to science and space to entertainment and is always looking for new and interesting stories to tell. She believes in the power of journalism to affect change and to change minds and wants to hear from you about the stories you think about being overlooked.

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