🔴 A councilman is facing charges including voter and unemployment fraud

🔴 The councilman is accused of falsifying voter forms for at least 4 people

🔴 A recording caught him telling someone to lie to investigators, authorities say

ATLANTIC CITY — A local councilman is charged with voter fraud, unemployment fraud, and lying to the FBI.

Federal prosecutors announced the charges against Atlantic City Councilman Md Hossain Morshed, 49, on Friday evening. As councilman for the Fourth Ward, the Democrat earns a salary of $27,800 a year.

The employment fraud charge stems from Morshed applying for extended benefits through the state Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, according to U.S. Attorney Philip Sellinger. Morshed is accused of defrauding the state Department of Labor out of $39,208 from April 2020 through September 2021.

MD Hossain Morshed (Atlantic City
MD Hossain Morshed (Atlantic City

Authorities said Morshed committed another form of fraud in 2019 ahead of the June primary elections. He is accused of falsifying voter forms so that at least four people who did not live in the Fourth Ward could vote for him in the election.

A criminal complaint states that Morshed gave one person, who lived in Galloway, a pre-filled out voter registration application form, leaving spaces only for their driver's license number and signature. The individual, identified as PV 1 in court documents, complied and signed the form.

Soon after, Morshed returned to the individual and asked for them to sign a vote-by-mail application that also had a fake address, according to the complaint. But this time the person refused, believing it would be illegal. Authorities said Morshed visited the person again in April 2019.

(Google Maps)
(Google Maps)

"During one of these visits, MORSHED showed PV 1 a stack of Vote-By-Mail Applications that appeared to bear the signatures of other individuals and told PV 1 that it was legal for PV 1 to sign the Vote-By-Mail Application," the complaint states. Morshed is accused of then promising the individual a job in city government once he won the seat.

The person then signed the form. Despite never receiving their mail-in ballot, the county Board of Elections received a filled-out ballot bearing the individual's name for the June 2019 primary.

Then in December 2021, FBI agents interviewed Morshed about discrepancies on the forms. The complaint states he made "numerous materially false statements to the FBI," including a denial that he filled out any voter form applications.

City Hall of Atlantic City (Google Maps)
City Hall of Atlantic City (Google Maps)

Sellinger said that a recorded Aug. 29, 2022 meeting between Morshed and the individual captured audio of the councilman instructing the person to lie to investigators.

"You just tell them, if they come again, ‘listen, I filled out the application, I gave it to the election commission office, I don’t know after that anything. And they said, who’s this person? Listen, listen man, I don’t know anything,’” Morshed said, according to the complaint.

If convicted on all three charges, Morshed faces a combined maximum of 30 years in prison and a $750,000 fine, according to Sellinger.

Rick Rickman is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at richard.rickman@townsquaremedia.com

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