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Former Tory staffer found guilty in robocalls scandal

GUELPH, ON. (NEWS1130) – Former Conservative party staffer Michael Sona has been found guilty of trying to prevent voters from marking their ballots during the 2011 federal election.

The 25-year-old was the only person charged in the so-called robocalls scandal and now faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

Automated calls rang more than 6,700 telephone numbers on that election day, mostly targeting Liberal supporters in Guelph, Ontario with misleading instructions on where to vote.

The Edmonton-based technology company RackNine had been hired to make those calls by a customer who used fake names, including the pseudonym Pierre Poutine.

Defence lawyer Norm Boxall elected not to call any witnesses at the trial and argued that the Crown failed to definitively prove that Sona was involved in the scheme.

Boxall and Crown attorney Croft Michaelson both told Justice Gary Hearn during their closing arguments that they believed more than one person was involved in the plot.