Two Charged in Petition Fraud Scheme

The two are 19-year-old Bradley Adam Ables and 18-year-old Shannon O'Conner Bartholomew, both of the Florida Panhandle town Pace.

They're charged with scheming to defraud, grand theft, and uttering a forged document. They face up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

Authorities say Florida company JSM Incorporated hired Ables in February to collect signatures on four different petitions, paying him between one and two dollars per signature.

But a probable cause affidavit says a roommate of the two suspects saw them signing blank petition forms, which they later turned into the Santa Rosa County Supervisor of Elections Office.

Authorities say the pair collected valid signatures on a petition for a state minimum-wage amendment, then forged them on the other three. The three are for medical liability compensation, the repeal of the high-speed rail amendment and a measure dealing with slot machines in Miami-Dade and Broward counties.