Beloff Opts To Admit Vote Fraud

Posted: April 22, 1988

Former Democratic City Councilman Leland M. Beloff will write yet another sorry chapter in the annals of South Philadelphia politics today when he pleads guilty and is sentenced in federal court for vote fraud.

Beloff, 45, has agreed to admit involvement in a scheme to forge dozens of absentee ballots during the 1984 general election, said his attorney, Robert F. Simone.

"He's looking to clean up his life," Simone said.

While there's no guarantee, Beloff hopes his plea of guilty to the vote fraud charges won't add any time to the 10-year prison sentence he is to begin serving next week on extortion charges.

The 10-year sentence stems from Beloff's conviction last year for conspiring with reputed mob boss Nicodemo Scarfo and others to extort more than $1 million from Center City real estate developers.

Because Beloff is to report Tuesday to a federal prison camp in Loretto, Pa., U.S. District Judge Thomas N. O'Neill Jr. has agreed to impose sentence immediately in the vote fraud case.

Beloff, reached at his home yesterday, declined comment, and referred all questions to Simone.

Beloff's wife, Diane, the only remaining defendant in the vote fraud case, is considering a guilty plea but as of last night remained undecided, sources said.

Beloff will be the third and the best known politician to plead guilty to the vote fraud scheme.

Charles Pollan, 41, a former Democratic Party committeeman in South Philadelphia, recently began serving a three-year sentence at the Allenwood federal prison camp for vote fraud.

Marge Giordano Coyle, 55, a former committeewoman, awaits sentencing.

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