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Right-wing operatives sentenced to register voters after 2020 robocall scheme

Right-wing operatives Jacob Wohl (center) and Jack Burkman were sentenced to 500 hours of registering voters after executing a robocall scheme to intimidate minority voters during the 2020 election. File Photo by Ken Cedeno/UPI
Right-wing operatives Jacob Wohl (center) and Jack Burkman were sentenced to 500 hours of registering voters after executing a robocall scheme to intimidate minority voters during the 2020 election. File Photo by Ken Cedeno/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 30 (UPI) -- Two right-wing operatives who pleaded guilty to a robocall scheme meant to keep minority and Democratic voters from participating in the 2020 general election have been sentenced to community service.

A judge required Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman on Tuesday to spend 500 hours registering voters, along with two years of probation and electronic monitoring for 12 hours a day for six months.

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"These two individuals attempted to disrupt the foundation of our democracy," prosecutor Michael O'Malley said in a statement reported by NBC News. "Their sentence of two years' probation and 500 hours of community work service at a voter registration drive is appropriate."

The pair were tried for committing telecommunications fraud, bribery and voter intimidation for a series of robocalls directed primarily at Black voters. The calls falsely warned recipients that their information could be compromised if they voted by mail.

Wohl and Burkman pleaded guilty to a felonious telecommunications fraud charge in October.

The robocalls went out to thousands of people across several states, including Ohio, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania and California. Burkman is a Virginia resident and Wohl is from California.

According to the prosecution, Wohl and Burkman attempted to influence about 85,000 voters and made calls to 8,100 numbers in Cleveland.

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Tuesday's ruling was made by Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Judge John Sutula. The 71-year-old judge compared what Wohl and Burkman did to violent attempts to suppress Black voters in the 1960s.

"I think it's a despicable thing that you guys have done," he said.

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