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The Original Election Fraud Grifter Is Back to Claim His Kraken Crown—and His Money

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Sidney Powell’s absurdist election lawsuits are dead, and the lawyers behind them are facing potential sanctions, but election fraud grifters are still raking it in—one online donation at a time.

Chief among this crew is Matthew DePerno, the Michigan attorney whose November 2020 lawsuit kicked off MAGA-world’s Dominion voting-machine audit craze.

DePerno’s claims in that lawsuit spawned numerous copycats, and they caught the attention of the Trump campaign. But the premier standard-bearers of those claims—such as Powell, MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, and the right-wing website Newsmax—soon found themselves in the middle of billion-dollar defamation suits.

DePerno, however, forged ahead with his lawsuit against Antrim County, MI, where it dragged on for six months until a Michigan judge tossed it in May. Around that same time, DePerno also met the deadline for a $20,000 fine from a previous failed defamation case for which he had been sanctioned by a county circuit judge.

But money doesn’t appear to be a problem for DePerno at the moment.

Since that $20,000 sanction, DePerno has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars from unknown donors through multiple fundraising mechanisms, including a fund that bankrolled Powell’s so-called “Kraken” lawsuits. And while DePerno claims the money will support new litigation aimed at decertifying the 2020 election results, he’s currently under scrutiny for allegedly profiteering off of his baseless election fraud claims.

Last month, the Michigan Senate asked the state’s attorney general to investigate. In response, DePerno doubled down and announced he would run for attorney general.

(The Michigan attorney general’s office told The Daily Beast that “we can’t comment on any of our investigations.”)

Stephen Gillers, a specialist in legal ethics at the New York University School of Law, said that while he could not speak directly about DePerno’s conduct, such public fundraising efforts may actually serve as a hedge against possible sanctions.

“In the age of social media and GoFundMe campaigns, we........

© The Daily Beast

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