FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2004
TDD (202) 514-1888
FORMER RNC NEW ENGLAND REGIONAL DIRECTOR INDICTED IN
NEW HAMPSHIRE PHONE JAMMING CASE
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A federal grand jury in New Hampshire has indicted James Tobin, the former New England Regional Director of the Republican National Committee, on charges related to his alleged involvement in a scheme to disrupt phone service to five Democratic Party offices and a firefighters’ ride-to-the-polls program on Election Day 2002, the Justice Department announced today.
The four-count indictment returned this afternoon charges Tobin, 44, of Bangor, Maine, with conspiracy to commit telephone harassment in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371 and 47 U.S.C. §§ 223 (a)(1)(C) and (D) and aiding and abetting of telephone harassment in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2 and 47 U.S.C. §§ 223 (a)(1)(C) and (D). If convicted, Tobin faces up to five years in prison.
The indictment alleges that Tobin and co-conspirators sought to disrupt communications to five telephone numbers associated with the New Hampshire Democratic Party and one associated with the Manchester Professional Firefighters Association on Election Day, Nov. 5, 2002. The participants in the scheme allegedly planned to accomplish the disruption by hiring a company to call those six numbers repeatedly throughout the day and hang up, with intent to annoy and harass those called and disrupt those two organizations’ efforts to encourage and assist citizens in exercising their right to vote.
As part of the conspiracy, Tobin and Charles McGee, then-Executive Director of the New Hampshire Republican State Committee, allegedly discussed the hiring of a telephone services vendor to annoy and harass Democratic telephone volunteers on Election Day. Tobin allegedly provided McGee with contact information for Allen Raymond, a former colleague of Tobin’s who operated a Virginia-based telephone services vendor called GOP Marketplace. The indictment alleges that McGee sent a check for $15,600 on the account of the New Hampshire Republican State Committee to GOP Marketplace. The indictment further alleges that GOP Marketplace then paid $2,500 to an Idaho-based telemarketing services vendor to place the calls. The vendor allegedly placed several hundred calls to the numbers in New Hampshire, causing them to ring repeatedly and continuously.
McGee and Raymond have each pleaded guilty to a one-count criminal information charging them with conspiracy to commit telephone harassment for their roles in the scheme. McGee is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 8, 2005, and Raymond is scheduled to be sentenced on March 7, 2005.
Criminal indictments are only charges and not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The investigation has been led by Todd Hinnen, a trial attorney with the Computer Crime & Intellectual Property Section of the Criminal Division at the U.S. Department of Justice, in conjunction with the Bedford Resident Agency of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the New Hampshire State Attorney General’s Office.