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Two men arrested in community election fraud in Pike County

Dmitry Kupershmidt

May 24, 2016

Pike County District Attorney Ray Tonkin announced today that Dmitry Kupershmidt, 42, and Myron Cowher, 53, were found guilty on numerous charges related to a scheme to fix an election in the private community of Wild Acres Lakes in Delaware Township.

The convictions came after a four day jury trial that ended on May 23, 2016. The jury composed of six women and six men deliberated for approximately 6 hours. Cowher was found guilty of all 217 counts charged against him relating to Forgery, Identity Theft, Criminal Attempt, Criminal Conspiracy, Tampering with Records, and Criminal Use of a Communication Facility.

Kupershmidt was found guilty of 190 counts relating to acting as an accomplice and co-conspirator. At the time of the offenses, Cowher was the Secretary on the Board of Directors and Kupershmidt was the Chairman of the Board

The charges were the result of an incident occurring in May of 2014. At that time an employee for Wild Acres called the District Attorney’s Office expressing concern over a possible scheme to fraudulently fill out ballots in the community’s election that was to be held in June of that year. Upon the direction of District Attorney Ray Tonkin, the employee was put in contact with the Pennsylvania State Police. The election was for five positions on the community’s board of directors. As with many private communities the board of directors serves as the governing body for the community. Wild Acres is a registered non-profit Corporation registered through the Pennsylvania Department of State.

The employee informed the State Police that Cowher had wanted to meet with him to pick up a collection of ballots that were to be mailed out to individual lot owners. Cowher had directed the employee to select the ballots of lot owners who owned vacant lots that were not suitable for building. Cowher admitted to the employee that he selected these people because they rarely voted in elections. A meeting took place between the employee and Cowher that was monitored by the State Police. During the meeting Cowher filled out 9 of the ballots and took the remaining 62 ballots to fill out at a later time. Upon leaving the meeting Cowher was arrested by the State Police.