NM Election Consultants Guilty Of Conspiracy, Fraud

Feb 1, 2013

 A federal jury in Albuquerque has convicted two men accused of conspiring to steal money intended for voter education efforts in New Mexico.

Prosecutors say 49-year-old Joseph C. Kupfer of Rio Rancho and 65-year-old Armando C. Gutierrez of Corpus Christi, Texas, were found guilty Thursday after an eight-day trial.

They say the two consultants conspired to get more money than they were due out of New Mexico's $19 million in Help America Vote Act funds.

The indictment charged $2.5 million in fraud.

At the time of the indictment, prosecutors say Kupfer and Gutierrez were consultants to New Mexico Secretary of State Rebecca Vigil. She left office in 2006.

State criminal charges against Vigil were dismissed in November after a judge ruled delays in the case had impaired her defense.