D M, Flickr Creative Commons
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.
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