February 25, 2023 Rachel Alexander - Arizona Sun Times
The Arizona Legislature’s Senate Elections Committee and House Municipal Oversight & Elections Committee held a joint hearing on Thursday featuring testimony from several people involved in researching the voter disenfranchisement that occurred in 2020 and 2022. The testimony by Arizona forensic investigator Jacqueline Breger accused multiple statewide and county officials, including Governor Katie Hobbs and Secretary of State Adrian Fontes, of racketeering connected to the Sinaloa Cartel. Democrats on those committees refused to attend the hearing.
Breger said she has been working with a law firm investigating multistate racketeering and corruption but in the process, discovered election fraud as well. She said neither she nor the attorney she works for, John Harris Thayer of Harris/Thayer Law Corporation, are very political; he didn’t vote in the last two elections, and she is a registered independent. While investigating racketeering involving the Sinaloa Cartel, their team accidentally discovered election fraud, she said, including finding that Maricopa County’s database was being infiltrated from the outside.
“The Maricopa County database has absolutely no integrity whatsoever,” she declared. “Racketeering enterprises are inextricably intertwined with election fraud,” she said.
She said their investigation began several years ago by looking into the laundering of drug cartel money through single-family residences in Illinois. They discovered that several real estate agents had set up laundering activities in Arizona, which was “pervasive and ongoing” in Maricopa and several other counties. Her firm represents parties damaged by money laundering. They found fake notarizations, fake deeds of trust, and straw buyers. The related crimes included narcotic sales, bankruptcy fraud, life insurance fraud, payroll fraud, extortion schemes, bribing elected officials, creating and modifying public records, swatting individuals who pose a threat to the cartel activities, and election fraud.
She said her office is ready to work with any enforcement agencies. They reported their findings to former Governor Doug Ducey in May of 2022 and many law enforcement agencies. Several have opened ongoing investigations, including law enforcement in California and New Mexico, which have already used their report and taken some corrective action, she said. Their final report, which includes 47 findings, will include election fraud and will be a 300-page book with 3,000 attachments. It will be available on reporttothegovernor.com.
Breger said the Sinaloa Cartel began money laundering through single-family homes in 1994 in San Tan Valley, Litchfield Park, Goodyear, and Avondale. They make their profits from human trafficking and drugs like fentanyl. The criminality shows up, she said, in falsified construction invoices and charitable donations, fake tuition at trade schools, and fraudulent bankruptcies. Bank accounts were opened at Wells Fargo for “phantom people.”
Breger said city government officials and agencies in Mesa are complicit.
“The City of Mesa is a racketeering organization,” she declared, where “civil rights are systematically and systemically violated to preserve racketeering activities.” She explained that “fines and outrageous cash bonds are used to collect and skim money,” which is then “redirected into racketeering activities.”
She implicated the Mesa Police Department in the scheme, saying that officers participating are compensated with “monies paid through the phony mortgage schemes.” She said the police violate the Fourth Amendment by planting evidence, hiding exculpatory evidence, and entering homes without search warrants.
She discussed what she found at the state level next.
“Multiple state databases have been infiltrated or hacked, thus allowing falsified documents to be uploaded into them, and allowing legitimate documents to be removed.” Breger said all three state universities’ computer systems have been hacked, with degrees forged for individuals who never graduated. Additionally, she claimed state licensing agencies were hacked, forging licenses for people.
“Even law licenses; we have seen phantom attorneys registered with the state bar,” she said.
Turning to Maricopa County, Breger said the Maricopa County database for the Maricopa County Recorder and the Maricopa County Superior Court was designed in 2014 to be infiltrated. Since then, “hundreds of falsified documents have been loaded into the court database,” such as default judgments and child support orders. She said they were used in swatting activities against individuals posing a threat to the racketeering activities.
Regarding elections, Breger said, “Since 2004, elections with Pima County and Maricopa County have been manipulated through the infiltration of the county databases, resulting from bribes paid to officials and election service providers, including, but not limited to, principals of Runbeck Election Services.” She said this affected the 2020 recorder’s race and the races for governor, attorney general, and secretary of state in 2022.
She said those bribed include county supervisors, judges — including two presiding judges — judicial assistants, prosecutors, and state legislators. She singled out prosecutors “within and for Maricopa County.” Breger said she believes at least 25 percent of the judges within Maricopa, Pima, and Pinal Counties have accepted bribes for protecting the racketeering activities. She said the payments began before the individuals were appointed to the bench and asserted that Mesa prosecutors routinely bring charges against innocent individuals who pose a threat.
She said laundered cash is used to bribe Arizona public officials and their staff. Over 10,000 fraudulent documents were recorded with the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office; Breger alleged and estimated that over 35,000 warranty and trust deeds evidencing fraud exist in the database. Accompanying those were over 15,000 falsified notarizations, she added.
Breger alleged that the key participants in the racketeering are Adona Ray Chavez and her adopted daughter Brittany Ray Chavez, who facilitate the bribes of public officials. She said they are connected to the corrupt real estate agents and have worked for the Sinaloa Cartel for over 25 years. The pair allegedly execute deeds under falsified names, including as the buyer, seller, or notary, and forge the signatures of judges.
Breger said she discovered at least five appointments made under Adrian Fontes while he was the Maricopa County Recorder between 2017 and 2021 who were “phantoms, non-existent individuals,” holding positions related to election services. During the same period, she said there were at least 15 individuals whose records were falsified “and kept hidden from the public during the 2020 election cycle.” Their records reportedly include forged signatures and falsified notarizations made by Brittany Chavez, and falsified clerical signatures by Donna Chavez.
In 2019, Breger said Brittany Chavez approached her law firm asking for whistleblower protection. After being threatened, she withdrew her request but continued providing evidence to the firm, Breger said. In October 2020, Breger said the firm received evidence that the Maricopa County computer system had been designed with various back doorways to allow outsiders to infiltrate it and change the data. She said they were also told the identities of public officials who had been bribed and discovered 25,000 falsified ballots held with a large amount of cash at a home in Mesa, traced to Donna Chavez.
Breger researched the deeds of trust of officials suspected of being involved in racketeering. If there was an unusual number of deeds of trust belonging to one individual, they dug further. She looked into Hobbs’ recorded documents and found 11 deeds of trust. She showed them to a qualified forensic document expert, who examined them to determine whether the handwriting matched Brittany Chavez’s or Donna Chavez’s handwriting. The expert determined that the writing appeared to be trying to copy Hobbs’ and her husband’s signatures.
Breger said many deeds of trust for one couple within a few years was “not statistically likely.” Of those, six were recorded within a five-year period when Hobbs was with Emerge Arizona. She said she believes Emerge Arizona, which helps Democrat women run for office, bribes women to run for public office and further the cartel’s interests.
Breger produced copies of Hobbs’ deeds for the legislators to look at, and said she has 500 pages of reports on officials like this. She said in their research they found that some of the title and mortgage companies don’t exist.
Breger said she believes election fraud goes back to 2004. “Since at least 2004, ballot counts have been tampered with.”
She said Brittany Chavez moves money for candidates, in part through nonprofits. In October 2020, she said they discovered over 100,000 ballots and $13 million in two unmarked rental cars being unloaded at a home in Mesa and then driven to Runbeck. Breger said they found suspicious deeds for Runbeck and its President and CEO Jeff Ellington. They also found suspicious deeds for Fontes, she said. Breger said three of the five Maricopa County Supervisors have suspicious deeds recorded, along with partners at the large Democratic law firm Perkins Coie.
Thayer has survived six attempts to kill him, she said, including a tire strategically slashed so it would “cause catastrophic failure at a high speed.” She said a similar attempt was made on the life of Kari Lake’s daughter. Read more related to Thayer’s investigation here.