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Press Release

Former Atlantic City Councilman Admits Submitting False Voter Registrations

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Jersey

CAMDEN, N.J. – A former Atlantic City councilman today admitted falsifying voter registrations, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.

MD Hossain Morshed, 50, a former councilman of Atlantic City’s Fourth Ward, pleaded guilty today before Chief U.S. District Judge Renée Marie Bumb in Camden federal court to an information charging him with fraudulent procurement and submission of voter registration applications.

“This defendant admitted that he attempted to deprive residents of New Jersey of a fair election by obtaining false voter registration applications and facilitating their submission. Working with our law enforcement partners, we were able to uncover Morshed’s efforts to garner votes from residents who were not allowed to vote for him. We are committed to investigating and prosecuting those who unlawfully attempt to compromise the integrity of our elections.”

U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger

“When you sign up to serve in public office, you are, and should be, held to a higher standard. Morshed admits he knowingly committed voter fraud, and then directed others to lie about it,” FBI – Newark Special Agent in Charge James E. Dennehy said. “Our voting processes and electoral functions are the bedrock of our democracy, and even a single elected official breaking to law in the hopes of returning to power creates cracks in the foundation. We must do all we can as law enforcement to protect our fundamental structure.”

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

In April 2019, in advance of the June 2019 primary election, Morshed gave a prospective voter a New Jersey voter registration application that had already been filled out and which falsely asserted that the prospective voter had a residential address in the Fourth Ward (in Atlantic City), the ward that Morshed represented on the Atlantic City Council. Even though the address written on the form was not where the voter actually lived, Morshed urged the prospective voter to sign the application. Subsequently, Morshed visited the prospective voter at the voter’s actual residence and presented the prospective voter with a vote-by-mail application to sign which included the same false Fourth Ward Atlantic City address that was on the voter registration application and listed yet another false Atlantic City address for where the mail-in ballot should be sent to the voter. 

The Atlantic County Superintendent of Elections subsequently received the falsified voter registration application that Morshed had the prospective voter sign and thereafter, the Atlantic County Board of Elections received the prospective voter’s completed mail-in ballot, and that ballot was counted towards the June 2019 primary election. The prospective voter later admitted that the voter did not receive, complete, or return the mail-in ballot. During lawfully recorded conversations between this voter and Morshed concerning possible questioning by law enforcement, Morshed directed the voter, if questioned by law enforcement, to make false representations about where the voter lived and who filled out the voter forms that Morshed had given to the voter. Sentencing is scheduled for July 16, 2024.

U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Dennehy; the FBI’s Newark, Atlantic City Resident Agency’s Public Corruption Task Force, including the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office, under the direction of Prosecutor William Reynolds; the Atlantic City Police Department, under the direction of Officer-in-Charge Chief James A. Sarkos; the New Jersey State Police, under the direction of Col. Patrick J. Callahan; and the Cape May County Prosecutor's Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Jeffrey H. Sutherland; as well as special agents of the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, Northeast Region, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jonathan Mellone; and postal inspectors of the U.S. States Postal Inspection Service, Philadelphia Division, under the direction of Inspector in Charge Christopher A. Nielsen, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric A. Boden, Attorney-in-Charge of the Trenton Branch Office and Assistant U.S. Attorney James H. Graham of the Organized Crime/Gangs Unit, under the supervision of the Special Prosecutions Division.


Updated March 15, 2024

Voting and Elections
Press Release Number: 24-095