02/03/2012 2:59PM

Mona Romero, formerly of the Louisiana HBPA, is sentenced to 13 months in prison


A day after Sean Alfortish, the former president of the Louisiana Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association was sentenced to 46 months of prison on an array of fraud charges, the organization’s former executive director, Mona Romero, was sentenced to 13 months in prison and three years of supervised release.

Romero, who was convicted for conspiracy to commit mail fraud, wire fraud, and identity fraud, was also ordered to pay $21,562 in restitution. The sentencing was held Friday in a federal court in New Orleans. Romero, 53, has a March 21 date to report to prison, according to the offices of U.S. Attorney Jim Letten.

Romero, the executive director of the Louisiana HBPA from 2005 to 2010, in July pleaded guilty to one charge of conspiracy, admitting that she, Alfortish and others had conspired to rig a 2008 election conducted by the Louisiana HBPA. The ballots had to bear an official U.S. postmark and the Social Security number of eligible voters to be valid, and Romero admitted she and others used the Social Security numbers of some HBPA members without their knowledge, then flew to cities in Florida, Kentucky, Ohio and Texas, to mail the falsified ballots.

Alfortish pleaded guilty in August. Had he elected to go to trial, Mona Romero had agreed to cooperate with the government’s case against him, according to a release issued by Letten.