Key figure in NC ballot probe gets prison for benefit fraud

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) — A key player in a North Carolina ballot probe that led to a new congressional election has been sentenced to six months in prison for Social Security fraud.

Leslie McCrae Dowless Jr. received the sentence Thursday in federal court.

He had pleaded guilty to two counts in June on the day his trial was supposed to begin.

The judge also told Dowless he must pay $8,600 in restitution.

The federal case was tangentially related to the ballot probe by the State Board of Elections and local prosecutors.

Dowless and others still face state charges related to 2016 and 2018 elections.

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