News and Press Releases

Plantation Man Pleads Guilty to Voter-Fraud and Firearms-Related False Statements Charges

August 30, 2012

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Alysa D. Erichs, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI), and Addy M. Villanueva, Special Agent in Charge, Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), announce that Josef Sever, 52, of Plantation, Florida, pled guilty today in federal court to charges of illegally voting in a federal election and knowingly and falsely claiming to be a U.S. citizen when he purchased firearms from a federally licensed dealer, renewed a Florida concealed weapon license, and registered to vote, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 611, 924(a)(1)(A), 911, and 1015(f).

Sever pled guilty before U.S. District Judge Ursula Ungaro earlier today. At sentencing, scheduled for November 9, 2012, the defendant faces a possible statutory maximum sentence of up to 5 years in prison.

According to statements made in court, Sever admitted that he was born in Austria, is a naturalized citizen of Canada, and has never been a U.S. citizen. Nevertheless, on four occasions in 2007, 2008, and 2010, he purchased firearms from a federally licensed firearms dealer in Miami-Dade County and stated on a required Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) form that he was a U.S. citizen. He also stated on an application to renew his Florida concealed weapons and firearm license in 2010 that he was a U.S. citizen.

In early 2008, Sever registered to vote in Broward County, again stating that he was a U.S. citizen. Then, he actually voted in the November 4, 2008 presidential election.

Mr. Ferrer commended the joint efforts of FDLE, which initiated and spearheaded the investigation, and ICE-HSI. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert T. Watson.

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A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at or on

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