Conservative operatives Jacob Wohl, Jack Burkman to be arraigned today in election robocall scheme in Detroit


  • D M, Flickr Creative Commons
  • Jacob Wohl.

Two right-wing fraudsters charged in an alleged robocall scheme to spread misinformation in Michigan have turned themselves in Thursday morning and are expected to be arraigned soon with a series of felonies.

Jacob Wohl, 22, and Jack Burkman, 54, who have a history of spreading hoaxes and outlandish conspiracy theories, were each charged on Oct. 1 with intimidating voters, conspiracy to commit an election law violation, and using a computer to commit the crime of conspiracy and election law.

If convicted, they face up to 12 years in prison.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said Wohl and Burkman, who live in Los Angeles and Arlington, Va., respectively, turned themselves in to law enforcement at the Detroit Detention Center, where they are awaiting a remote arraignment in the 36 District Court, which will be live-streamed at 10:30 a.m.

They are accused of making automated calls to about 12,000 Detroit and suburban residents in August, falsely claiming their personal information from mail-in ballots could lead to their arrests for outstanding arrest warrants or be used to collect unpaid credit card debts. The calls also falsely warned that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention could use the information to track people for mandatory vaccines.

Nessel alleges the calls were intended to discourage voters of color from casting mail-in ballots. You can listen to the robocall here.

Similar robocalls were made in areas with “significant minority populations” in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Illinois, Nessel said. In all, Nessel believes the duo made about 85,000 robocalls. Nessel’s office is working with the other state attorneys general.

Wohl and Burkman have been removed from social media sites for making bogus claims, including manufacturing sexual-assault allegations against former Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg and special counsel Robert Mueller. They also falsely claimed Elizabeth Warren had a sexual relationship with an ex-Marine male escort.

Stay on top of Detroit news and views. Sign up for our weekly issue newsletter delivered each Wednesday.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.