Washington (CNN) The Justice Department announced on Friday that 19 foreign nationals have been charged with illegally voting in the 2016 election, according to the Justice Department.
According to a news release, nine of the individuals were indicted by a federal grand jury in North Carolina on charges of falsely claiming US citizenship to register to vote and of "voting by an alien." Those individuals range in age from 31 to 71 and are from countries such as Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Nigeria, the Philippines, Panama, Grenada, Guyana and Japan.
Fact checkers have debunked President Donald Trump's false claims that there was widespread voter fraud during the 2016 election. Election experts emphasize that such fraud is rare in the context of more than 1 billion votes cast since 2000.
In addition to the nine people charged with making false claims of citizenship, criminal charges of "voting by an alien" were separately brought against eight other individuals, according to the Justice Department news release.
Those eight people range in age from 39 to 71 and are from European countries such as Germany, Poland and Italy as well as countries such as El Salvador, Mexico, Haiti and Korea. The department did not specify if the individual was from North Korea or South Korea.
The Justice Department stated that a grand jury also charged a 26-year old from Mexico "with fraud and misuse of visas, permits, and other documents, and voting by an alien."
A 58-year-old from the Dominican Republic pleaded guilty to "passport fraud and voting by an alien," according to the release.
The department also said a grand jury had indicted a 66-year old for "aiding and abetting" one of the defendants charged with making a false claim of US citizenship to register to vote.
Information for attorneys for the defendants was not immediately available.