Florida 'ghost candidate' who was backed by GOP consultant is arrested and charged
Voters line up at a polling place. (Image via Shutterstock)

One of three “ghost” candidates who ran as independents for the Florida Senate in 2020 has been arrested on several criminal charges, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

Also charged alongside ghost candidate Jestine Iannotti are James “Eric” Foglesong and Benjamin Paris. Foglesong is a political consultant involved in the launching of Iannotti's campaign, and Paris is Seminole County’s Republican Party chairman.

Iannotti is facing six charges, which include the commission of a false or fraudulent act, accepting excessive contributions from a single contributor, perjury, false reporting and accepting a contribution in the name of another.

Foglesong faces four charges, which include making two or more contributions through or in the name of another, the commission of a false or fraudulent act, unlawful use of a communication device, excessive contributions and false reporting. Paris faces a single count of making a contribution through or in the name of another.

IN OTHER NEWS: Pastor’s ‘confession’ to adultery turns into criminal probe when victim announces she was only 16

“Some NPA candidates, commonly referred to as ‘ghost’ candidates, have been used by political parties as a way to close elections or siphon off votes. While not illegal per se, many have questioned the ethics of the practice,” the office of Seminole-Brevard State Attorney Phil Archer said in a statement. “However, when that candidate and the partisan political operatives involved violate election finance laws by illegally funding those races and filing false reports, it is the responsibility of government to act.”

Iannotti was new to politics when she ran as an independent in Senate District 9. As the Sentinel' report points out, she spent several weeks in Sweden and refused to speak to reporters after qualifying to run. She later moved to Sweden after the election.

"Her candidacy — and those of two South Florida candidates who also did no campaigning — was promoted by a pair of entities chaired by then-GOP political consultant Alex Alvarado, with ads Miami prosecutors have said were tailored to siphon votes from the Democrats in each race," the Sentinel reports.

NOW WATCH: Canadian national security task force is preparing for the collapse of the United States

Canadian national security task force is preparing for the collapse of the United States www.youtube.com