- A woman from Tallahassee was one of three people arrested.
- Florida Department of Law Enforcement said the case in Tallahassee in January 2022.
- Learn more about the cases in the news release below.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) arrested three paid petition circulators in separate petition fraud cases. The Florida Department of State Office of Election Crimes and Security (OECS), and the Leon, Palm Beach, Miami-Dade and Broward County Supervisors of Elections assisted in the investigations.
LaShaya Denice Pierce, 33, of Tallahassee, was arrested on Oct. 17 on five felony counts of fraudulent use of personal identification information, five felony counts of false swearing and two misdemeanor counts of signing a petition more than once.
Nelson Judah Stone, 26, of Apopka, was arrested Oct. 20 on five felony counts of fraudulent use of personal identification information of a deceased individual.
Arterria Bernay McCutcheon, 31, of Daytona Beach, was arrested Oct. 19 on nine felony counts of fraudulent use of personal identification information of a deceased individual.
The Pierce case began in January 2022 after the Leon County Supervisor of Elections and Florida Department of State requested FDLE investigate suspected fraudulent petitions she submitted which were subsequently rejected. The suspected fraudulent petitions all had similar handwriting and they either did not have a valid signature, the same voter information appeared on multiple petitions, or had no voter information on record for the individual who signed the petition. FDLE Tallahassee agents conducted interviews and secured social media search warrants. The investigation found that Pierce did falsify petitions and used the personal identification information of social media users without their consent.
The Stone and McCutcheon investigations began in February 2023 after the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections provided FDLE copies of suspected fraudulent petitions submitted by the paid petition circulators which contained the names and signatures of deceased individuals. FDLE Election Crime Unit (ECU) inspectors reviewed and analyzed paid petition circulator records and data provided by OECS. The FDLE ECU investigators were then able to identify fraudulent petitions after obtaining death records, comparing known signatures of the deceased to the petition signatures, and taking additional investigative measures.
Further, FDLE ECU inspectors reviewed and identified additional fraudulent petitions containing the names and signatures of deceased individuals both Stone and McCutcheon submitted to the Miami-Dade, Broward and Orange County Supervisors of Elections for multiple constitutional amendment initiatives.
Pierce was booked into the Leon County Jail on a $38,000 bond, Stone was booked into the Seminole County Jail on a $22,500 bond and McCutcheon was booked into the Volusia County Jail on a $45,000 bond. The cases will be prosecuted by Attorney General Ashley Moody’s Office of Statewide Prosecution.