Men Who Perpetrated an Election-related Robocall Fraud Scheme Are Sentenced by the Judge. Right-wing operatives Jack Burkman and Jacob Wohl were charged by Ohio authorities in October 2020 with telecommunications fraud in connection with the conspiracy, and two years later, the two men entered guilty pleas.
They have now received their punishment: 500 hours of assistance in voter registration. According to the county prosecutor’s office, Judge John Sutula in Ohio’s Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court also sentenced Burkman and Wohl to two years of probation, $2,500 each in fines, and six months of electronic monitoring from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m.
According to Cleveland.com, the judge compared the robocall scam to efforts to suppress Southern Black ballots in the 1960s and stated, “I think it’s a horrible thing that you guys have done.”
In order to contribute to the constant barrage of false information that was directed at Americans in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election, Burkman, 56, and Wohl, 24, pulled off a number of outrageous actions.
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Along with using robocalls, the couple also arranged a news conference, saying they would bring a woman who had accused special counsel Robert S. Mueller III of s*xual assault. However, the woman who was supposed to appear never did.
They allegedly sought out young Republican men to fabricate allegations of s*xual assault against Pete Buttigieg, a candidate for president at the time. The Washington Post was briefly duped when they pretended to conduct an FBI raid on Burkman’s Arlington, Virginia, house.
According to a statement provided to The Post on Wednesday by the Cuyahoga County prosecutor’s office, “These two people intended to undermine the very fabric of our democracy.” “Two years of probation and 500 hours of community service for a voter registration drive are a suitable sentence for them.”
Wohl’s attorney declined to comment to The Post but told CNN that Wohl is “generally sorry” and that he was “pleased with the outcome.” An inquiry for comment was not immediately answered by Burkman’s legal counsel.
Wohl stated at the sentencing hearing on Tuesday that he wanted to “convey my total regret and embarrassment about all of this,” according to Cleveland.com. According to the site, Burkman stated that he “would just share Mr. Wohl’s statement.”
After a flurry of about 85,000 robocalls in 2020 targeting voters in Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Illinois, Burkman and Wohl were indicted.
The calls falsely told listeners that their personal information would be shared with the police, credit card companies, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention if they registered to vote by mail. Not to be “finessed into surrendering your private information to the man,” voters were warned.
In October 2020, the two were charged with felonies by the attorney general of Michigan for plotting to break election laws, intimidating voters, and using a computer to commit a crime.
The Cuyahoga County prosecutor was referred to Burkman and Wohl by Ohio attorney general Dave Yost after an investigation, according to a statement he made. In May 2021, several human rights organizations filed a lawsuit against the two and were joined by the attorney general of New York.
For making robocalls during the election, the FCC wants to punish Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman with a record $5 million. The robocalling operation allegedly targeted minority neighborhoods in an effort to reduce their ability to vote, according to the attorneys general.
Burkman and Wohl are still facing legal action in New York and Michigan, respectively. Burkman and Wohl may also be subject to a record-breaking $5 million fine from the Federal Communications Commission for making robocalls to people’s cellphones without their consent in addition to the sanctions imposed in Ohio.
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