Former state Rep. Victor Cuevas, D-Waterbury, pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges he conspired to defraud a 2017 probate judge candidate by submitting falsified petition signatures, according to federal prosecutors. 

Cuevas, who resigned from the legislature in 2016 after being convicted of mortgage fraud, now faces up to five years in prison for one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud after entering a guilty plea in Hartford federal court, admitting to defrauding a New Haven probate judge candidate.

According to a press release from United States Attorney Vanessa Roberts Avery’s office, Cuevas’s political consulting firm, Yellow Dog Strategies, was paid $5,750 to collect 1,000 signatures for the candidate. 

Instead of collecting the signatures, Cuevas and others falsified petition forms and submitted them to the New Haven election officials who noticed the forged signatures, the prosecutor’s office said. 

“Upon learning that voter signatures had been forged, the candidate withdrew from the primary,” the press release read.

Cuevas, who was still serving a one year probation sentence when the 2017 crime occurred, was released on a $100,000 bond until his sentencing, which is scheduled for Jan. 17, according to the release.