The Political Graveyard: A Database of American History
Politicians in Trouble or Disgrace

Politicians in Trouble or Disgrace: Forgery
Including counterfeiting

See the trouble and disgrace main page, as well as the FAQ and the Political Graveyard privacy policy, for important explanations and disclaimers.

in chronological order

  Charles Franklin Mitchell (1806-1865) — of Lockport, Niagara County, N.Y. Born in Bucks County, Pa., February 18, 1806. U.S. Representative from New York 33rd District, 1837-41. Convicted of forgery in 1841 and sentenced to Sing Sing prison in New York; pardoned due to ill health; moved to Ohio. Died in Cincinnati, Hamilton County, Ohio, September 27, 1865 (age 59 years, 221 days). Interment at Spring Grove Cemetery, Cincinnati, Ohio.
  See also congressional biography — Govtrack.us page
  Thomas J. Navin — of Adrian, Lenawee County, Mich. Mayor of Adrian, Mich., 1881-82. Absconded after forging city bonds; arrested in El Paso, Texas. Burial location unknown.
  Charles H. Houghton — of Metuchen, Middlesex County, N.J. Born in New York. Colonel in the Union Army during the Civil War; lost a leg in a Civil War battle; U.S. Collector of Customs, 1875-82. Member, Grand Army of the Republic. Arrested in May 1882, and charged with embezzlement, fraud, and forgery; tried, convicted, and fined. Burial location unknown.
  Edward Richard Folsom (1874-1923) — also known as Edward R. Folsom — of Irvington, Essex County, N.J. Born in North Urbana, Steuben County, N.Y., September 18, 1874. Charged, in 1894, of forging checks, bank robbery, and arson; pleaded guilty to two charges; sentenced to ten years in prison; pardoned and released in September 1897; coal dealer; mayor of Irvington, N.J., 1923; died in office 1923. Blackmailers threatening to expose his criminal past extorted money from him until he was nearly penniless; killed himself by an overdose of sedative, in Irvington, Essex County, N.J., September 26, 1923 (age 49 years, 8 days). Interment at Clinton Cemetery, Irvington, N.J.
  Relatives: Son of Frederick Lewis Folsom and Martha (Layton) Folsom; married to Sara Elizabeth Keeler.
  See also Find-A-Grave memorial
  Louis E. Otto (d. 1931) — of Key West, Monroe County, Fla. Born in Key West, Monroe County, Fla. Republican. Pharmacist; postmaster at Key West, Fla., 1898-99; arrested in June 1899, suspended from office as postmaster, and charged with forgery, perjury, and embezzlement; mayor of Key West, Fla., 1919-21; defeated, 1917. Member, Odd Fellows; Redmen. Died in St. Petersburg, Pinellas County, Fla., November 1, 1931. Burial location unknown.
  James Lawrence Blair (1854-1904) — also known as James L. Blair — of St. Louis, Mo. Born in St. Louis, Mo., April 2, 1854. Lawyer; president, St. Louis Board of Police Commissioners, 1884; general counsel, St. Louis World's Fair (Louisiana Purchase Exposition), 1901-03; indicted in December, 1903, for forgery of two deeds of trust to obtain a loan from an estate he managed. Member, American Bar Association; Loyal Legion; Sons of the Revolution. Died, either from suicide (which he had attempted at least twice before) or from "congestion of the brain", in Eustis, Lake County, Fla., January 16, 1904 (age 49 years, 289 days). Interment at Bellefontaine Cemetery, St. Louis, Mo.
  Relatives: Son of Francis Preston Blair Jr. and Apolline Agatha (Alexander) Blair; nephew of Montgomery Blair; grandson of Francis Preston Blair; great-grandson of James Blair; first cousin of Francis Preston Blair Lee and Gist Blair; first cousin once removed of Edward Brooke Lee; first cousin twice removed of Blair Lee III and Edward Brooke Lee Jr.; second cousin thrice removed of John Eager Howard; third cousin once removed of William Julian Albert and Joseph Wingate Folk; third cousin twice removed of George Howard, Benjamin Chew Howard and Carey Estes Kefauver; third cousin thrice removed of George Nicholas, Wilson Cary Nicholas and John Nicholas; fourth cousin of Talbot Jones Albert and Ethel Gist Cantrill.
  Political family: Lee-Randolph family (subset of the Four Thousand Related Politicians).
  See also Find-A-Grave memorial
  Miles R. Frisbie — of Schenectady, Schenectady County, N.Y. Member of New York state assembly from Schenectady County, 1907-08; charged with grand larceny and forgery, for obtaining $2,500 on fraudulent bonds and mortgages; tried on one charge of obtaining $1,000 from a woman in exchange for a fraudulent mortgage; pleaded insanity; convicted on June 12, 1914; sentenced to 5-10 years in prison. Burial location unknown.
  Luke Lea (1879-1945) — of Nashville, Davidson County, Tenn. Born in Nashville, Davidson County, Tenn., April 12, 1879. Democrat. Lawyer; newspaper editor and publisher; founder of the Nashville Tennesseean; U.S. Senator from Tennessee, 1911-17; delegate to Democratic National Convention from Tennessee, 1912 (speaker); colonel in the U.S. Army during World War I; in January 1919, after the war was over, he led a group of U.S. Army officers in an unauthorized attempt to seize former German leader Kaiser Wilhelm; they illegally entered the Netherlands (which was neutral territory) using forged passports; he and the others were reprimanded by the Army; following the collapse of the Asheville Central Bank and Trust, he and others were indicted in 1931 for bank fraud; convicted on three counts; sentenced to prison, served two years before being paroled; ultimately pardoned in 1937. Episcopalian. Member, Freemasons; Alpha Tau Omega; Phi Delta Phi; Elks; Knights of Pythias; Redmen. Died, in Vanderbilt University Hospital, Nashville, Davidson County, Tenn., November 18, 1945 (age 66 years, 220 days). Interment at Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Nashville, Tenn.
  Relatives: Son of John Overton Lea and Ella (Cocke) Lea; married, November 1, 1906, to Mary Louise Warner; married 1920 to Minnie Percie Warner; grandson of John McCormick Lea; great-grandson of Luke Lea (1783-1851); great-grandnephew of Major Lea, Hugh Lawson White and Frederick Bird Smith Cocke; second great-grandson of James White and John Alexander Cocke; third great-grandson of William Cocke; first cousin twice removed of Pryor Newton Lea, George McNutt White and Luke Lea (1810-1898); first cousin thrice removed of William Michael Cocke; second cousin once removed of Albert Major Lea and William Alexander Cocke.
  Political family: Lea-Cocke family of Tennessee.
  Cross-reference: John D. Erwin
  See also congressional biography — Govtrack.us page — Wikipedia article — Find-A-Grave memorial
  Florence Elizabeth Smith Knapp (1875-1949) — also known as Florence E. S. Knapp; Florence Elizabeth Smith — of Syracuse, Onondaga County, N.Y. Born in Syracuse, Onondaga County, N.Y., March 25, 1875. Republican. School teacher; superintendent of schools; dean, College of Home Economics, Syracuse University; delegate to Republican National Convention from New York, 1920, 1924 (alternate); secretary of state of New York, 1925-27; in 1927, an investigation discovered her maladministration of the 1925 state census; she had paid salaries to relatives and others who did no census work, forged indorsements on checks, received money she was not entitled to, and burned state records to conceal evidence of these things; resigned her position at Syracuse University; indicted on various charges in 1928, tried twice and eventually convicted of grand larceny; sentenced to 30 days in jail. Female. Episcopalian. Member, Grange. Died, following a heart attack, in Marcy State Hospital (insane asylum), Marcy, Oneida County, N.Y., October 26, 1949 (age 74 years, 215 days). Interment at Oakwood Cemetery, Syracuse, N.Y.
  Relatives: Daughter of James E. Smith and Mary (Hancock) Smith; married to Philip Schuyler Knapp.
  See also Find-A-Grave memorial
  Charles E. MacMillin (1888-1941) — of Pinal County, Ariz. Born in Marengo, Iowa County, Iowa, January 21, 1888. Democrat. Pharmacist; served in the U.S. Army during World War I; Speaker of the Arizona State House of Representatives, 1925. Member, American Legion. Convicted of forgery in 1934; sentenced to prison. Died March 2, 1941 (age 53 years, 40 days). Burial location unknown.
  Jacob P. Nathanson (1901-1986) — of Brooklyn, Kings County, N.Y.; Lake Worth (now Lake Worth Beach), Palm Beach County, Fla. Born in Russia, February 21, 1901. Democrat. Lawyer; member of New York state assembly from Kings County 14th District, 1927-33; defeated in primary, 1933. Jewish. Charged in 1930 with professional misconduct by the Brooklyn Bar Association, over his handling of a client's $500 bail payment; suspended from the practice of law in 1931, and ordered to pay restitution. Indicted in October and November 1938 on charges of forgery, grand larceny, and subornation of perjury, over his involvement in fraudulent bail bonds; pleaded guilty to subornation of perjury, and testified against other conspirators; disbarred in 1939. Died in Palm Beach County, Fla., March 2, 1986 (age 85 years, 9 days). Interment somewhere in Palm Beach County, Fla.
  Ray E. Whitney (1878-1970) — of Onondaga Township, Ingham County, Mich. Born in Onondaga Township, Ingham County, Mich., April 23, 1878. Republican. Farmer; real estate dealer; candidate for Michigan state house of representatives from Ingham County 2nd District, 1942, 1944; in July 1944, he was accused of sending out postcards falsely claiming the endorsement of several prominent Republicans; arraigned in August 1944 for felony election fraud, over forging most of the signatures on his nominating petitions; pleaded guilty in September 1944 to misdemeanor charges. Congregationalist. Died, in Stuart Nursing Home, Leslie, Ingham County, Mich., September 3, 1970 (age 92 years, 133 days). Interment at Draper Cemetery, Rives Township, Jackson County, Mich.
  Relatives: Son of Alson Whitney and Nellie (Flanagan) Whitney; married, March 15, 1916, to Ruby Haven.
  See also Find-A-Grave memorial
  Daniel W. West (b. 1909) — of Nashville, Davidson County, Tenn.; Detroit, Wayne County, Mich. Born in Algood, Putnam County, Tenn., September 5, 1909. Democrat. Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Michigan, 1960, 1964 (alternate); member of Michigan state house of representatives, 1963-65 (Wayne County 6th District 1963-64, 24th District 1965); defeated in primary, 1954 (Wayne County 6th District), 1956 (Wayne County 6th District), 1958 (Wayne County 6th District), 1960 (Wayne County 6th District), 1965 (24th District). Convicted of various crimes, including burglary, larceny, and forgery, in Minnesota, Iowa, and Washington, D.C., and was sentenced to prison in those places; came to Michigan and assumed the identity of a deceased New York attorney of the same name; indicted in late 1964 on state charges of voter registration fraud and federal charges of income tax fraud and forgery; in January 1965, his seat in the Michigan House was declared vacant. Burial location unknown.
  James Patton Sutton (1915-2005) — also known as Pat Sutton — of Lawrenceburg, Lawrence County, Tenn. Born near Wartrace, Bedford County, Tenn., October 31, 1915. Democrat. Served in the U.S. Navy during World War II; U.S. Representative from Tennessee, 1949-55 (7th District 1949-53, 6th District 1953-55); candidate for U.S. Senator from Tennessee, 1954; Lawrence County Sheriff; pleaded no contest in 1964 to charges related to his involvement in a counterfeiting ring; imprisoned for 10 months for violating a federal probation order. Died, in the Lakeland Specialty Hospital, Berrien Center, Berrien County, Mich., February 3, 2005 (age 89 years, 95 days). Cremated; ashes interred at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Va.
  See also congressional biography — Govtrack.us page — Find-A-Grave memorial
  John T. Gregorio (1928-2013) — also known as "The Lion of Linden" — of Linden, Union County, N.J. Born in Staten Island, Richmond County, N.Y., February 6, 1928. Democrat. Florist; mayor of Linden, N.J., 1968-83, 1991-2006; defeated, 2006; shot at in his car, in March 1968; two days later, his house was firebombed; member of New Jersey state house of assembly 21st District, 1974-77; indicted in April 1975 on perjury and fraud charges, over his purchase of a vacant lot from Elizabethtown Gas Company, while conspiring to falsify documents to conceal his involvement as buyer; later charged with extorting a $25,000 kickback from a building contractor on a high school project; following jury selection, the charges were dismissed in February 1976; member of New Jersey state senate, 1978-83 (21st District 1978-81, 20th District 1982-83); indicted in September 1981 on charges of income tax evasion, concealing his interest in two "go-go bars", and for failing to enforce state alcohol laws; convicted in December 1982 of conspiracy to commit official misconduct, but found not guilty on other charges. Died, from leukemia, in Trinitas Hospital, Elizabeth, Union County, N.J., October 23, 2013 (age 85 years, 259 days). Burial location unknown.
  See also Wikipedia article — OurCampaigns candidate detail
  Michael Bowen Mitchell (b. 1945) — also known as Michael B. Mitchell — of Baltimore, Md. Born in Baltimore, Md., November 7, 1945. Lawyer; member of Maryland state senate 39th District, 1987; indicted in 1987, along with his brother, by a federal grand jury in connection with the a bribery investigation of Wedtech Corporation; convicted of accepting $50,000 to stop the Congressional investigation of Wedtech; sentenced to two and a half years in prison; convicted in 1988 of forging documents to obtain $77,000 in life insurance proceeds intended for the child of a murder victim, and sentenced to six years in prison. Methodist. Member, NAACP. Still living as of 1988.
  Relatives: Son of Clarence M. Mitchell, Jr. and Juanita Elizabeth (Jackson) Mitchell; brother of Clarence M. Mitchell III; nephew of Parren James Mitchell; uncle of Clarence M. Mitchell IV and Keiffer Jackson Mitchell Jr..
  Political family: Mitchell family of Baltimore, Maryland.
  Scott Faughn (b. 1980) — of Poplar Bluff, Butler County, Mo. Born in 1980. Mayor of Poplar Bluff, Mo., 2002-04; charged in 2005 with embezzling money while Chairman of the Highway 67 Corporation, by forging checks to himself and his ex-wife; convicted in 2007 on the forgery charges, and fined $1,500. Still living as of 2007.
  See also Wikipedia article
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Henry L. Clinton, Apollo Hall, New York City, February 3, 1872
The Political Graveyard

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