CLEVELAND (WJW) – Two conservative hoaxers who placed thousands of false robocalls to predominantly Black neighborhoods were sentenced Tuesday for their role in an elaborate plot to suppress votes in the 2020 election.
The calls falsely warned people that information taken from their mail-in ballots could lead to their arrest, debt collection, and being tracked by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for mandatory vaccines.
Wohl and Burkman appeared in the courtroom via Zoom and spoke briefly during the sentencing.
“Really express my absolute regret and shame over all of this and ask the court to issue a sentence in the spirit of fairness and defer to the court, really, on all of that, your honor,” said Wohl.
Burkman said he “echoed the same sentiments” when given the opportunity to speak, but Judge John Sutula did not mince words on the serious nature of the charges.
“I think it’s a despicable thing that you guys have done. Now, I’m only limited here by the nature of the crime that you plead guilty to,” said Judge Sutula.
The two men were sentenced to 24 months of probation, 180 days of electronic home monitoring, 500 hours of community service at a voter registration drive for low to middle-income potential voters, and a $2,500 fine, plus court costs and fees.
No jail time may shock some, but prosecuting attorney James Gutierrez told FOX 8 News he’s happy with the outcome.
“I am satisfied that they were put on two years of probation. I’m also satisfied that they got 500 hours of community service at a voting place. I think that’s justice right there,” said Gutierrez.
Wohl and Burkman are appealing similar robocall-related charges in Michigan. According to Gutierrez, there’s a civil suit against them in New York. The Federal Communications Commission is also recommending a $5.1 million fine.