Candidate pleads guilty in alleged Florida vote scam

National

FILE – In this Wednesday, March 9, 2016, file photo, Rep. Frank Artiles, R-Miami, speaks on the red light bill during session, in Tallahassee, Fla. Prosecutors say former Sen. Artiles secretly gave more than $44,000 to a sham candidate for the Florida Legislature so that he could run as an independent in the 2020 election to confuse voters and siphon ballots from then-Democratic incumbent, Sen. Jose Javier Rodríguez. Artiles has pleaded not guilty. (AP Photo/Steve Cannon, File)

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — A sham candidate for the Florida Legislature pleaded guilty to being part of a vote siphoning scheme in last year’s election.

Alex Rodríguez agreed Tuesday to testify against former Sen. Frank Artiles after pleading guilty in Miami-Dade County to accepting illegal campaign donations and lying on campaign documents.

He will receive three years probation. He had faced a possible 20-year prison sentence.

Prosecutors say Artiles secretly gave more than $44,000 to Rodríguez so that he could run as an independent in the 2020 election to confuse voters and siphon ballots from then-Democratic incumbent, Sen. Jose Javier Rodríguez.

Artiles has pleaded not guilty.

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