© 2023 WFAE
90.7 Charlotte 93.7 Southern Pines 90.3 Hickory 106.1 Laurinburg
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Political Operative McCrae Dowless Charged With Social Security Fraud

Steve Harrison / WFAE
McCrae Dowless has been indicted on charges of social security fraud.

Former election campaign consultant Leslie McCrae Dowless, who was at the center of a voter fraud scandal in the 9th Congressional District in 2018, has been indicted on charges of social security fraud, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina announced Tuesday.


Dowless is alleged to have collected social security benefits while earning income from political campaigns. He is charged with two counts of social security fraud, one count of theft of government property and one count of false statements.

According to the indictment, Dowless, 64, received Supplemental Security Income and Retirement Insurance Benefits while failing to notify the Social Security Administration that he also received more than $100,000 for work on the midterm elections between March 2017 and November 2018.

Dowless received more than $14,000 in benefits from the Social Security Administration while not disclosing his work or earnings, according to the indictment.

Previously, Dowless was indicted on two sets of state charges related to election fraud allegations. He pleaded not guilty.

Jodie Valade has been a Digital News and Engagement Editor for WFAE since 2019. Since moving to Charlotte in 2015, she has worked as a digital content producer for NASCAR.com and a freelance writer for publications ranging from Charlotte magazine to The Athletic to The Washington Post and New York Times. Before that, Jodie was an award-winning sports features and enterprise reporter at The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, Ohio. She also worked at The Dallas Morning News covering the Dallas Mavericks — where she became Mark Cuban's lifelong email pen pal — and at The Kansas City Star. She has a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from Northwestern University and a Master of Education from John Carroll University. She is originally from Rochester Hills, Michigan.