Jacob Wohl, the 22-year-old scammer and internet troll from Riverside, turned himself in at the 36th District Court in Detroit Thursday on charges that he and an accomplice were behind 85,000 racist and misleading robocalls intended to suppress voter turnout in Democrat-leaning areas.
Wohl and his alleged partner in the robocall scam, 54-year-old conspiracy theorist Jack Burkman of Virginia, each pleaded not guilty to four felony counts including voter intimidation and conspiracy to commit a voting law violation, charges that could land the pair up to 12 years in prison if convicted.
The robocalls, about 12,000 of which went to residents of Detroit, falsely warned residents that voters’ personal information would be used to track down old warrants, collect debts, and allow federal health officials to forcibly administer vaccinations.
In one call, which came from a Northern Virginia area code, the caller claims to be part of a “civil rights organization” led by Wohl and Burkman, and warns, “Did you know that if you vote by mail, your personal information will be part of a public database that will be used by police departments to track down old warrants, and be used by credit card companies to collect outstanding debt?”
Wohl’s lawyer, Scott Grabel, said during Thursday’s online arraignment, “It’s involving a robocall, which is protected speech. [Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel] did her talk show lecture host last week on Rachel Maddow. This is a political stunt.”
In the October 1 interview Grabel was referring to, Nessel told the MSNBC host, “What is the point of having all these laws on the books in regard to voter suppression, voter intimidation, threats against voters, if we never actually enforce them?
Despite his young age, Trump supporter Wohl is an old hand at skulduggery.
Last month, he and Burkman were accused of staging a fake FBI raid on Burkman’s home. In May, Wohl allegedly tried to pay a woman to level a false sexual assault complaint against Dr. Anthony Fauci. Wohl and Burkman have also been connected to attempts at fake allegations of misconduct against Robert Mueller, former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren.
Last year, Wohl and a former business partner were charged with a felony in California on charges that they unlawfully sold a security. Wohl pled not guilty to the charge, which stemmed from a 2016 complaint made by an Arizona man who lost $75,000 he invested in Wohl Capital Investment Group and later killed himself. An April settlement hearing was postponed due to the pandemic.
A judge set bond for Wohl and Burkman at $100,000 each in the Detroit case.
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