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McCrae Dowless flown to NC hospital hours before sentencing in fraud cause

McCrae Dowless, the man behind the election fraud scheme in North Carolina's 9th District in 2018, was scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday.

RALEIGH, N.C. — Leslie McCrae Dowless, the man behind the voting scandal in North Carolina's 9th District in 2018, was flown to a hospital in Bladen County Wednesday morning due to a medical emergency, one of his attorneys said. 

Cindy Singletary, an attorney who represented Dowless, confirmed he was flown to New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington around 8 a.m. Wednesday under "emergency conditions." Details about his condition have not been released.

Dowless, 65, was scheduled to be sentenced after pleading guilty to Social Security fraud in June. Prosecutors said Dowless concealed his work and income as a political consultant from the Social Security Administration while receiving monthly benefits, authorities said. He faces up to 15 years in prison. 

Prosecutors said Dowless applied for Social Security Income in 2013, claiming he was unable to work due to a disability. In July of 2018, he applied for retirement benefits, stating that he hadn't worked for two years and didn't expect to work that year. 

Dowless still faces charges of obstruction of justice, conspiracy and illegal possession of an absentee ballot in connection with the 9th District scandal. 

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Dowless was hired by Republican Mark Harris during the 2018 campaign, but people who worked for Dowless said they were paid to collect absentee ballots from voters and even filled some of them out. 

The special election was won by Republican Dan Bishop after Harris withdrew. 

RELATED: Key figure in 9th District election scandal pleads guilty to fraud

RELATED: Dowless, 6 others appear in court related to District 9 absentee ballot investigation

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