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Petition circulator gets probation after forging signatures for Senate candidate

Author: Peter Marcus - January 20, 2017 - Updated: January 20, 2017

A woman who pled guilty to forging signatures on petitions she circulated for failed Republican U.S. Senate candidate Jon Keyser was sentenced on Friday.

Maureen Marie Moss, 45, was sentenced to four years probation on each of the two counts and 250 hours of community service.

Moss was charged in June 2016 with forging multiple names and a signature on election petitions in Arapahoe, Jefferson and Denver counties.

Moss, who has an extensive previous criminal background, was hired by Black Diamond Outreach to collect signatures for Keyser to place his name on the June 2016 primary ballot.

Prosecutors highlighted that Moss submitted numerous forged petition signatures to Black Diamond Outreach, which provided the petitions to the Keyser campaign. Those petitions were submitted to the Secretary of State’s Office.

A joint investigation occurred between Denver, Arapahoe and Jefferson counties.

Several forgery cases overshadowed the Colorado election season.

On Jan. 12, Angelo Felix Abad, 61, pled guilty in Denver District Court to one count of felony forgery in connection with collecting fraudulent signatures to place the successful minimum wage increase on last November’s ballot.

But the Kesyer signatures were perhaps the most high-profile. Several observers believe how Kesyer handled news of the forgery contributed to sinking his campaign.

Instead of resting immediately on plausible deniability, Kesyer had an uncomfortable testy exchange with a Denver television reporter, the video of which went viral. Keyser had a difficult time combating the negative attention from there on.

State lawmakers are likely to take a look at the fraud issue in the legislative session. The Secretary of State’s Office can verify names and addresses on a petition, but it does not have the authority to disqualify a potentially fraudulent signature. Lawmakers may try to change that.

Peter Marcus

Peter Marcus

Peter Marcus is senior statehouse reporter for Colorado Politics. He covers the legislature and previously covered politics, the governor’s office, the legislature and Congress for The Durango Herald. He joined The Herald in 2014 from The Colorado Statesman, a Denver-based political weekly. The Washington Post twice named Marcus one of the nation’s top state-based political and legislative reporters.