June 25, 2024 2 min read


Fact-checked by Velimir Velichkov

Florida Gambling Petition Collector Faces Charges over Fake Signatures

The man is suspected of signing up people who were dead for a petition that supported casino gambling expansion in North Florida

In 2021, supporters of casino gambling expansion in North Florida pushed for the collection of signatures to put the question up to a vote for the ballot in 2022. Nearly 815,000 signatures were required to put the topic on the ballot.

At the time, Florida Voters in Charge, a political committee, managed to raise $75 million for the effort. Subsequently, the money was spent but the push failed as not enough people signed up for the petition to put the topic on the ballot. However, an investigation into the submitted documents uncovered irregularities, with a number of dead people being signed up in the petition.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s (FDLE) Election Crime Unit (ECU) investigated the described matter with the probe resulting in charges against several individuals. FDLE announced last week that one person with the initials H.J., 34 of Miami, was detained and charged with fraud related to the petition signing dating back to 2021. At the time, the man was hired by Florida Voters in Charge to help gather signatures for the push which was called “Limited Authorization of Casino Gaming.”

H.J., a paid petition circulator, is accused of petition fraud on the casino gaming initiative, ‘Limited Authorization of Casino Gaming’,

reads a statement released by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement

Signing up Dead People

However, per FDLE’s ECU investigation, it was uncovered that the man allegedly included nearly a dozen names and signatures related to people who had been deceased. According to Florida Politics, the 34-year-old submitted a total of 3,719 invalid signatures of which 10 belonged to people who were dead.

Per FDLE’s announcement, a warrant was issued for the person’s arrest who was detained in Broward County last month. For his involvement, the 34-year-old was slapped with 13 counts of criminal use of personal identification information related to a deceased individual.

Attorney General Ashley Moody is prosecuting the case against the 34-year-old man. After his arrest, the person was released on bail.

According to the recently released report, H.J. isn’t the only Miami resident who is suspected of being involved in signing up dead people to the petition.

Another Miami resident with the initials A.J., relative to H.J., is also suspected of fraud related to the gambling petition. The whereabouts of A.J. are currently unknown.


Jerome is a welcome new addition to the Gambling News team, bringing years of journalistic experience within the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry begun after he graduated from college where he played in regular local poker tournaments which eventually lead to exposure towards the growing popularity of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now puts all the knowledge he's accrued to fuel his passion for journalism, providing our team with the latest scoops online.

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