A Seattle man pleaded guilty on Thursday to identity fraud and voter intimidation for forged letters he sent to 200 Republican donors in Florida that told them they were ineligible to vote in the 2012 presidential election. Angered by what he believed was an attempt to suppress Hispanic voter turnout for Democratic Party candidates, James Baker Jr. in 2012 created false voter eligibility letters purporting to be from elections authorities, according to a U.S. Department of Justice press release. Baker, 58, entered his plea in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida and faces up to six years in prison and a $350,000 in fines.
The letters, sent by Baker from Seattle, told recipients their citizenship was in doubt and they were in danger of being removed from voter rolls. The letters also warned that non-registered voters who cast ballots could face criminal charges, according to the Justice Department.
“Mr. Baker regrets the events which led to these charges. He has acknowledged and accepted responsibility for his actions and we look forward to the conclusion of this matter,” his lawyer, John Fitzgibbons, said in an email.