Michigan AG accuses men of felonies in voter intimidation robocalls

On Behalf of | Oct 5, 2020 | White Collar Crimes

Everyone who follows the news these days knows the nation is embroiled in a contentious presidential election filled with nearly daily charges and countercharges of wrongdoing in heated exchanges between candidates President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden, and their supporters.

Two Trump supporters were recently accused by Michigan’s attorney general of taking political disagreements to another level. The men have been charged with four white collar felonies each, including conspiring to intimidate voters in violation of election law and using a computer to commit crimes.

Attorney General Dana Nessel claims the men set up a robocall system that targeted residents of Detroit and other cities. The calls reportedly warned people that voting by mail would their personal information into databases used by police to make cold-case arrests, and by credit card companies to collect on past debts.

Nessel said the attorney generals of California, New York, Ohio, Illinois and Pennsylvania have all reported that residents have received the robocalls.

The Associated Press said the computer crimes charges are punishable by up to seven years in prison and the alleged election law violations include punishments of up to five years behind bars.

Nessel said investigators determined that the men set up the robocalls to deter people of color from voting in the Nov. 3 election.

She said the politically motivated calls are worse than typical nuisance robocalls. She claimed “this particular message poses grave consequences for our democracy and the principles upon which it was built.”

One of the accused men told the Associated Press in August that he suspected “leftist pranksters” were behind the calls because caller ID gave recipients the other accused man’s phone number. He said the allegations are “a joke” because no one would use their own number in such a scheme.