Shak Khan of the Lodi City Council was arrested and charged with several counts of voter fraud. This comes in addition to his previous fraud charges from 2020.
The arrest was made on Thursday morning, February 16, 2023 after new District Attorney Ron Freitas said he would be moving forward with the original case. Just before the 2020 election, Shakir Khan was arrested on illegal gambling, money laundering, tax evasion, and Employment Development Department (EDD) fraud charges. These charges were tied to his business, the American Smoker’s Club in Stockton, CA.
Mr. Khan continued his role in the Lodi City Council, bringing needed changes to his district. However, Council Member Khan was then ordered to wear an ankle monitor during his arraignment in October of 2022. The reason was due to violating his recognizance agreement and leaving the state.
Today, the San Joaquin Sheriff’s Office held a press conference explaining the Shakir Khan investigation timeline. It ended with the arrest of Shakir Khan on fourteen voter fraud felony charges without bail. The defendants are set to return to court on February 21, 2023 for arraignment information.
Shak Khan won the District 4 Election in 2020 by 282 votes with Ramon Yepez coming in second.
Shakir Khan Investigation Timeline
The investigation began in 2019, when the Sheriff’s Office worked to shut down illegal gambling sites around Stockton. Most businesses agreed to shut down their operations, except for the American Smoker’s Club, which was owned by Shakir Khan and others. The illegal gambling money was then laundered through the business and sent to Pakistan and parts of Southern California.
A search warrant was then issued in September of 2019 for his business and his home. They found 41 sealed and completed ballots in his home during this search. This isn’t illegal, especially since the change in voting laws allow for drop boxes and the like, but the Sheriff’s Office thought it was suspicious.
Concerned citizens continued to reach out to the Sheriff’s Office as the 2022 midterms came around. An anonymous woman contacted the SJ Sheriff’s Office because of concerns with the voter rolls in 2020. The Sheriff’s Office discovered nearly 70 names that were registered to Shakir Khan’s house, his email, or his phone number. Again, the office was unsure if that was illegal, as they are familiar with penal codes, so they did further research into election code and the voter registration.
As time went on, Shakir Khan had posted online that he left the state on tax payer funded trips to Hawaii, New York, and Washington DC. This violated his recognizance agreement, and could be considered a felony. Council Member Khan was then ordered to wear an ankle monitor in October of 2022.
Shortly after, the Sheriff’s Office visited Council Member Khan on a compliance check. They were originally checking for gambling equipment, but discovered a group of unopened ballots. These ballots were not for him and some were not for his residence.
While looking into Shakir Khan’s candidacy paperwork, they discovered that Mr. Khan claimed to be the owner of the American Smoker’s Club in Stockton. However, the business was signed over to his brother in January of 2020. The Sheriff’s Office stated this goes against his pledge for ethical election practices. He’s either intentionally misleading the Government or the Voters, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
The Sheriff’s Office then looked over Mr. Khan’s nomination papers where signatures were required to run in the election. There they discovered the name of Shakir Khan’s brother, who was not in the country at the time. Furthermore, they noticed a common name was misspelled. While comparing some signatures on the nomination papers with Council Member Khan’s signature in the DMV database, the Office realized they matched up.
The next step was to visit some of the people that had signed Shakir Khan’s nomination papers. Body camera footage was shown during the press conference of a few of these meetings. The first video showed a person who said his signature was forged. The second and third video had voters who claimed Shakir Khan pressured them to sign his papers. The fourth video showed a voter who didn’t even live in District 4. They were re-registered to Shakir Khan’s house and voted for him. Another person claimed Shakir Khan helped her with her EDD filing, but never allowed him to work on her voter information or register her to vote.
This morning he was arrested with no bail on fourteen voter fraud charges with additional charges still pending:
- 1 Count, Felony. Causing / Procuring / Allowing False Voter Registration of Self / Another Person.
- 1 Count, Felony. False Registration / Registration of Fictitious Person / Person Not Requesting Registration.
- 7 Counts, Felony. Subscription of Fictitious Name to Nomination Petition.
- 2 Counts, Felony. False Nomination / Declaration of Candidacy.
- 1 Count, Felony. Fraudulent Casting of Votes.
- 1 Count, Felony. Procuring / Assisting / Counseling / Advising Another Not Qualified to Vote.
- 1 Count, Felony. Adding and Abetting Commission of Fraudulent Voting.
Issues with California’s Voter Registration?
The Sheriff’s Office continued their press conference with issues they see in California’s voter registration process. Some of these issues were raised during the meeting with the anonymous citizen who brought this information to the attention of the Sheriff’s Office. They claim the online voter registration system is an honor system.
“All you have to do is click a box and say that you’re not lying, and then you’ll get an email from the Secretary of State, or something in the mail saying thank you for registering to vote, and there you are… …people can re-register to vote in a district they don’t actually live in, because you can actually do it online, there’s no checks and balances to say, yes, that person did move, or anything like that. Again, an honor system.”
Additional anomalies were pointed out by the anonymous citizen: There are 93 people registered to vote with the birthdate of 1850. There are 232 people registered to vote with an address to our local prisons. There are 4,144 people that were 90 years old and older. There are 125 people registered to vote where their address comes back to Non-profits, NGOs, and different businesses. Approximately 300 people with no first name, just a last name. 110 people who possible double voters because they have the same name, date of birth, and address, but different voter ID numbers. People registered to vote at various shelters. And one person was registered with the name Jesus Christ.
They claimed this does not mean a vote was cast, but these are on the voter rolls and should be looked at. Readers should note that homeless citizens have the right to vote, and they may list a shelter as their address. It’s also not suspicious for a 90-year-old to be registered to vote.