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2 Utah County men charged in fraud case involving special election signature gathering

By Carlene Coombs - | Apr 8, 2024

Courtesy U.S. General Services Administration

The Orrin G. Hatch U.S. District Courthouse in Salt Lake City is pictured in an undated photo.

Two Utah County men were charged in a fraud case involving signature gathering for Utah’s 2nd Congressional District race last fall. A total of 13 people have been charged in connection with the case.

The charges were filed last Friday and also involve defendants from Nevada and Washington.

Matthew Douglas Imhof, a Vineyard resident, and McCoy Wade Fritz, a Saratoga Springs resident, were among those who had charges filed against them Friday.

Imhof is facing five felonies and two misdemeanors for fraud, forgery, evidence tampering and violations of certificate nomination procedures. Fritz is facing one misdemeanor charge of violation of certification nomination procedures.

Court documents allege that around June of last year, a Layton man, Daniel Jacob McWilliams, entered into a contract with another man, Tim Mooney, to collect signatures for the 2nd Congressional District special election to replace the retiring Chris Stewart.

McWilliams is being charged with fraud, forgery and violations of certificate nomination procedures. Mooney was charged in December with violation of certificate nomination procedures.

Imhof is accused of assisting McWilliams with the contracted work and helping hire individuals to gather signatures. Court documents did not name which congressional candidate the signatures were being gathered for.

While training employees to gather signatures, Imhof allegedly told them to “forge a couple voter signatures per page,” as they reportedly were being paid per signature. Imhof and some of the employees then filled out voter information on packets to make it look like voters had signed the form, court documents claim.

Some employees hired by Imhof were residents of Nevada. Utah law requires individuals who gather signatures to be Utah residents.

Imhof and McWilliams then “devised a scheme,” documents say, to submit petition packets under the names of Utah residents instead of the out-of-state residents who gathered the signatures.

McWilliams and Imhof allegedly signed some of the circulator verification forms turned in by Nevada residents, though they are supposed to be signed by the person who gathered the voter signatures.

Imhof also is said to have asked another employee, Fritz, if he could use his personal information on a circulator verification form that Fritz did not circulate; Fritz allegedly agreed.

The criminal complaint further states that McWilliams also asked friends, including a former roommate in Provo, Delphin Kilembi, to sign circulator verification forms. Kilembi also has been charged with a class A misdemeanor for violating certification nomination procedures.

At one point, court documents allege that Imhof and McWilliams created a fake lease agreement with a person’s name without their permission to use as proof of residency on a form.

According to documents, Mooney, who initially hired McWilliams, questioned the validity of some of the signatures at the end of June. Imhof allegedly then helped McWilliams create fake text messages that appeared to be from Utah residents to send to Mooney in response to his concerns. Packets were then submitted to the Utah Lieutenant Governor’s Office.

Court documents note that McWilliams was paid around $58,000 in total and then paid Imhof $15,521. Imhof then paid his employees about $12,000 and kept the remaining funds.


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