(Phoenix, Ariz. – July 19, 2004) The Arizona State Grand Jury indicted Yurikino Cenit (Yuri) Downing on six felony charges: one count of Fraudulent Scheme and Artifice, four counts of Perjury and one count of Theft. The indictment was handed down on July 14, 2004.
The indictment alleges under the fraud count that Downing, as a candidate for public office and treasurer for two other campaigns, obtained control of over $100,000 in public funds that were distributed to the three campaigns pursuant to the Citizens Clean Elections Act based, in part, on Downing’s sworn promise that he would use those funds for direct campaign purposes only, and that he would comply with all Clean Election Act requirements and all rules of the Clean Elections Commission. The Indictment further alleges that Downing knew when he made those promises that he would – and he did -- materially and persistently breach those promises during the three campaigns.
Three of the perjury charges allege that Downing made false sworn statements when he signed an “Application for Certification as a Participating Candidate” in each campaign and certified, upon his oath and under penalty of perjury, that he agreed to use all Clean Election funding for direct campaign purposes only and to comply with all requirements of the Act and Commission rules. The indictment further alleges that, at the time Downing made these sworn statements, he knew that they were false; he knew that he would use Clean Election funding for other than direct campaign purposes and that he would not comply with all requirements of the Act and Commission rules.
The fourth perjury charge alleges that Downing made false statements in the Campaign Finance Report he filed for the Post-Election Period (October 17, 2002, to November 25, 2002). The indictment alleges that Downing certified that the contents of the report were true and complete, knowing that the report failed to disclose 26 expenditures of campaign funds, totaling $2,472.65 that Downing made at bars and restaurants, and by taking cash out of ATMs, during that time period.
The last charge in the indictment is a theft charge that alleges Downing, who was authorized to spend Clean Elections Funds for direct campaign purposes only, knowingly spent that $2,472.65 for other purposes.
If convicted on all counts, Downing could be sentenced to not less than three years and no more than 46.25 years in prison. Attached is a copy of the grand jury indictment. Assistant Attorney General Ted Noyes has been assigned to this case, and the Attorney General’s Office will refrain from further comment pending the final outcome of this case.