Right pleads guilty in robocall scheme to suppress black voting ahead of 2020 election

Two right-wing provocateurs pleaded guilty in Cleveland court on Monday to circulating fake robocalls in an attempt to deter black voters ahead of the 2020 election, prosecutors say.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said Jacob Wohl, 24, and Jack Burkman, 56, both pleaded guilty to one count of criminal telecommunications fraud for broadcasting the robocalls .

These robocalls were aimed at minority voters and falsely claimed they could face mandatory vaccines or be tracked by law enforcement if they voted by mail, prosecutors said.

“Voter intimidation will not be tolerated in Ohio,” Yost said in a statement. He said more than 67,000 calls were made through the campaign and more than 3,400 were answered in Ohio.

The appeal campaign has primarily affected black neighborhoods in Pennsylvania, Illinois, New York and Michigan, with the couple being arraigned for a felony in Michigan last week, according to WTVG.

They are also being sued in federal court in New York and face a $5.1 million fine from the Federal Communications Commission.

Mr. Wohl and Mr. Burkman could receive a year in prison when they are sentenced on November 29.

• This article was based in part on wire service reports.


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