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Ex-Cal State San Marcos student gets prison for trying to rig election

July 15, 2013|By Tony Perry

SAN DIEGO — A 22-year-old man from Huntington Beach was sentenced Monday to a year in federal prison for stealing the identities and computer passwords of more than 700 students so he could rig an election and become student body president at Cal State San Marcos.

U.S. District Judge Larry Burns said that Matthew Weaver showed "phenomenal misjudgment" by stealing the identities and passwords and then, when caught, trying to blame other students.

"He's on fire for this crime and then he pours gasoline on it" by blaming others, Burns said.

Weaver's scheme involving casting more than 630 votes for himself in the online election. He pleaded guilty to wire fraud, identity theft, and unauthorized access of a computer.

The scheme was caught when officials noticed an unusually heaving voting pattern in March 2012 from a computer in Academic Hall 204, prosecutors said. Police found Weaver sitting at the computer.

Weaver, who was a junior, was driven by ego and greed, prosecutors said, and wanted the respect that would come through being student body president, and the $8,000 a year stipend.

"But he didn't want to earn it, he wanted to steal it," prosecutor Sabrina Feve said.

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tony.perry@latimes.com

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