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paying the price

FCC proposes $5.1 million fine for conservative activists who made unlawful robocalls

The Federal Communications Commission said on Tuesday it aims to fine conservative activists Jacob Wohl and John Burkman $5.1 million for making more than 1,100 illegal robocalls ahead of the 2020 election.

The robocalls spread false claims about mail-in voting, stating that if a person sends in their ballot, their personal information is used "by police departments to track down old warrants" and "credit card companies to collect outstanding debts." Wohl and Burkman identified themselves on the calls, the FCC said, and Burkman's phone number appeared on caller ID.

The calls were placed between Aug. 26 and Sept. 14, 2020, targeting 1,141 cell phone users in Michigan, New York, and Ohio, who did not consent to receiving the calls as is required under federal law. Wohl and Burkman, who have a long history of trying to smear rivals of former President Donald Trump, are both also facing criminal charges in Michigan and Ohio in connection with the robocalls.