Man at center of District 9 election scandal indicted for social security fraud

In this Dec. 5, 2018 file photo, Leslie McCrae Dowless Jr. poses for a portrait outside of his home in Bladenboro, N.C. 

McCrae Dowless, the man at the center of the District 9 election scandal, has been indicted on federal charges for collecting disability while being paid for working on campaigns in 2018.

According to court documents, Dowless worked for at least two candidates and their campaigns during the 2018 Midterm election. During that time, he reportedly got paid thousands of dollars for his work, yet failed to report his income to the Social Security Administration.

He was charged with one count of theft of government property, two counts of social security fraud and one count of false statements.

Dowless was known in his rural North Carolina community as a politically obsessed man who over nearly a decade delivered votes for his candidates and stayed just out of reach of laws protecting ballots from potential tampering.

Last year, he was indicted on several charges in connection with the District 9 election fraud investigation, including felony obstruction of justice, perjury and possession of absentee ballot.

He was arrested less than a week after the state elections board decided his work on behalf of Harris, starting with the 2018 primary, tainted the GOP candidate’s apparent victory in November.

A new election was ordered.

Channel 9′s thorough investigation into the District led to the only time in documented history a federal election was overturned for a fraud investigation.