Grifters get slapped

Remember Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman? It’s been a few years, so you’re forgiven if you’ve completely forgotten them — they were a sleazy pair of not-very-bright Republican weirdos who ginned up various schemes that they hoped would derail elections.

Well, now their careers have been temporarily derailed.

Notorious conspiracy theorists Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman will pay up to $1.25 million for perpetuating a bogus robocall campaign in the runup to the 2020 presidential election, aimed at scaring Black voters from casting mail-in ballots, New York Attorney General Letitia James announced Tuesday.

The right-wing hucksters, who have faced numerous other lawsuits and court actions for their MAGA-adjacent activities, were found liable in March 2023 for “transmitting false and threatening messages intended to discourage voting” by Black New Yorkers, James’ announcement said.“[I]n written communications, Defendants referred to the call ‘as the ‘black robo’…and used terms like…‘HIJACK’ the election to refer to their operation,” according to a consent decree filed Monday.

You may now resume ignoring them.


  1. Akira MacKenzie says

    $1.25 Million is pocket change to the people backing these shits. They’ll have it paid for them and they’ll go right back spreading lies.

  2. muttpupdad says

    the only way to stop them is to raise the fines to trumpin levels and demand it in cash.

  3. StevoR says

    Tangential but there’s also this case too :

    In the final months of the 2020 presidential election, Florida woman Aimee Harris found herself holding what she thought could be the answer to all her problems – Ashley Biden’s diary. The diary, written by then-democratic candidate Joe Biden’s youngest daughter, had been left at a friend’s home just weeks before Harris arrived. The mother of two was facing financial hardship and a contentious custody battle. The events that would unfold in coming months would form part of an alleged conspiracy by a conservative group to embarrass now-President Joe Biden’s campaign. It would also land Harris in jail.

    Source :

    There’s perhaps some pathos and sympathy due where Aimee Harris is concerned given her personal situation but I’ve none for Robert Kurlander nds what Project (Nilum*) Veritas did here.

    .* Pig Latimum approximatum.

  4. tacitus says

    Crystal Mason was sentenced to five years for just one count of voter fraud in Texas, and it took her eight years to clear her name.

    Wohl and Burkman committed 5,500 counts (the number of robocalls they made in their effort to prevent black voters from voting). Five years would have been a slap on the wrist for them.

  5. says

    they were a sleazy pair of not-very-bright Republican weirdos who ginned up various schemes that they hoped would derail elections

    Doesn’t really narrow it down that much.

  6. cheerfulcharlie says

    The slimy woman who stole Ashley Biden’s diary and tried to sell it to Veritas was just sentenced to a month in jail. Aimee Harris got off too lightly in my humble opinion.

  7. Reginald Selkirk says

    I am unhappy with the monetary punishment only, particularly since they will use their exploits to raise funds. They need to do some time in prison.

  8. says

    I wrote about this story for Wonkette.

    One of the nicer details is that they may still be on the hook for serious criminal charges in Michigan (they were criminally convicted in Ohio, but sentenced to 2 years probation and 500 hours community service each). They’re attempting to assert a First Amendment right to say fraud-y things, and the Michigan appellate system has to decide whether or not that’s a valid defense before the criminal trial is held. It has already made it to the state Supreme Court who held arguments on the issue last fall. The decision could come any day between now and July, exclusive.

    Details differ between states on what benefits can be sought using false statements in order to convert protected speech into fraud, but that’s largely a consequence of different states using different language in their statutes. This is a question that turns on the federal 1A, and thus presumably should be more predictably resolved in a manner more consistent between states.

    Unless a particular state issue crops up (which is still possible — I don’t follow the MI SSC) I should think that their appeal will be denied, they’ll be sent back to face trial, and then — as happened in Ohio — the two will attempt to plea bargain for a sentence that does not involve jail time.

    The only problem there is that they targeted Detroit and really pissed off some of the local leadership with their racism and general contempt. I’m not saying that they can’t get away with a probation-and-communit-service sentence in MI the way they did in OH, but from the outside looking in it certainly appears less likely.

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