Jacob Wohl

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Jacob Wohl (born December 12, 1997)[1] is an American former hedge fund and real estate investment manager, online blogger, conspiracy theorist, and a former columnist for the website The Gateway Pundit. Wohl drew national attention in 2018 after news outlets reported his involvement in a failed plot to discredit Robert Mueller, the US Special Counsel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, by framing him for sexual misconduct. Wohl is barred for life from futures trading due to defrauding investors in 2016.

Career[edit]

NeX Capital and Montgomery Assets[edit]

Wohl founded investment funds NeX Capital Management and Montgomery Assets as a teenager.[2]

In 2016 the National Futures Association (NFA) investigated NeX Capital Management after receiving multiple complaints from investors. The NFA concluded that Wohl had made several material misrepresentations, including the implausible claim made at age 18 years old that he had more than "ten years of experience" as a fund manager. It also found that Wohl had failed to register himself and the fund in accordance with the rules and regulations.[2] Wohl was permanently banned from the NFA in March 2017.[3]

That same year, the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) issued a cease and desist order to both Wohl and NeX after it found they were in violation of securities laws.[4]

Wohl at one point claimed that he was managing 178 client accounts and combined total assets under management (AUM) of as much as $10,000,000, although he later claimed only 13 clients and an AUM of around $500,000. When investors demanded a return of their money, he was only able to return around half of that smaller amount. Some of the money, the NFA alleged, had been diverted into his mother's brokerage accounts.[2][5]. Wohl was shown to have advertised on Craigslist for "bikini models" and "Instagram models" for the role of NeX's "Director of Fun" to accompany him on marketing trips and entertain clients.[5]

In 2016, Wohl was forced by the ACC to pay $32,000 in restitutions to investors for activities related to his company Montgomery Assets. Wohl had falsely claimed in online advertisements on Craigslist that he, then 18, and his partner, then 27, had "over 35 years flipping homes".[5]

Surefire Intelligence[edit]

In 2018, Wohl created and registered the company Surefire Intelligence, LLC. Reporters who investigated Surefire Intelligence's website and company in October 2018 in relation to an alleged plot to frame Robert Mueller for sexual assault, elaborated on below, found that the company had been created by Wohl just a few weeks earlier and that its official phone number redirected to a voicemail message with another phone number owned by Wohl's mother.[6] They also reported that photos on the website depicting some of its purported employees were actually those of people unrelated to Surefire (including that of actor Christoph Waltz). News agencies also found that profiles of supposed Surefire Intelligence employees on the LinkedIn professional networking site included photos of unrelated celebrities, such as Israeli supermodel Bar Refaeli (who was represented as the company's "Tel Aviv station chief") as well as a profile of a "Matthew Cohen" containing an altered photo of Wohl. A journalist visited the address listed on Surefire Intelligence's website and found that it was the location of an unrelated company. [7]

Soon after creating the company, Wohl advertised it as a team of private investigators on classified ad site, Craigslist. In the ad, Wohl falsely claimed that Surefire consisted of former Israeli intelligence agents and various other investigative experts. At least once, Wohl posed as investigator "Matthew Cohen" to a potential client who responded to the ad. One paid him a $1200 advance fee for help recovering her stolen truck, but Wohl never performed any investigative services for the fee, nor did he return the money or contact her again.[8]

Minutes after Michael Avenatti was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence on November 14, 2018, the Surefire twitter account tweeted a news story about the arrest, stating, "Surefire Intelligence strikes again." The following morning, Avenatti tweeted, "First Mueller and now me. When we are fully exonerated I am coming for you Jacob Wohl aka Surefire."[9]

Conservative blogger and columnist[edit]

From 2016, Wohl became a prominent online supporter of U.S. President Donald Trump.[10]

Attempt to frame Robert Mueller[edit]

On October 30, 2018, NBC News and The Atlantic published articles detailing a purported scheme to falsely accuse US Special Counsel Robert Mueller of sexual misconduct in 1974. The articles reported that on October 17, 2018, several journalists received emails from a person claiming to be named "Lorraine Parsons" that asserted conservative lobbyist Jack Burkman had hired a man with Wohl’s firm, Surefire Intelligence, to offer her more than $20,000 to sign an affidavit falsely accusing Mueller of sexual misconduct and workplace harassment. “Parsons” told the reporters she had worked with Mueller at the law firm Pillsbury, Madison & Sutro in 1974, and that the man from Surefire had asked her to falsely accuse Mueller of engaging in misconduct during that time. Mueller worked at Pillsbury in 1974, but the firm told reporters they had no record of any "Lorraine Parsons" ever working there. “Parsons” declined reporters’ requests to speak on the phone, and none of the reporters published the story until the alleged scheme became evident.[11][12]

On October 22, Vermont Law School professor Jennifer Taub received an email from Surefire Intelligence asking her to report on "past encounters with Robert Mueller" and offering her money to discuss Mueller by phone. Taub stated she had never met Mueller and referred the matter to Mueller’s office, which then referred the matter to the FBI.[13]

On October 30, Wohl tweeted: "Several media sources tell me that a scandalous story about Mueller is breaking tomorrow. Should be interesting. Stay tuned!"[14][15]

The Gateway Pundit, which employed Wohl, published the “Lorraine Parsons” allegations on October 30, including “exclusive documents” about a "very credible witness" to support the accusations against Mueller. Each document had in its header the phrase "International Private Intelligence," the business slogan of Wohl’s firm, Surefire Intelligence. The article was removed later that day, with owner Jim Hoft stating that the matter and "serious allegations against Jacob Wohl" would be investigated.

The following day, Hoft retweeted a tweet by Wohl that suggested Mueller's office was actually behind the purported scheme.[16] Also that day, Burkman tweeted and Wohl retweeted that Parsons did not exist, denying involvement in the matter, and calling it “a hoax designed to distract the nation from my press conference” to be held the next day.[17]

Wohl and Burkman convened a press conference outside Washington on November 1, ostensibly to present a woman who they said signed an affidavit, which Gateway Pundit had published, accusing Mueller of raping her in a New York hotel room in 2010 — on a date he was contemporaneously reported by The Washington Post to be serving jury duty in Washington.[18] The men accused Mueller's office of "leaking" the eight year-old Post story to discredit their allegations. The purported accuser, "Carolyne Cass", did not appear at the press conference, with the men asserting she had panicked in fear of her life and taken a flight to another location. Soon after the press conference, Hoft announced that Gateway Pundit had "suspended our relationship" with Wohl.[19][20]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Dumb Internet Person Jacob Wohl Unsuccessfully Framing Robert Mueller Is the Comic Relief We Need Right Now". Retrieved November 15, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c Weill, Kelly (June 14, 2018). "Jacob Wohl, Teen Hedge Funder Turned Pro-Trump Media Star, Was Accused of Cheating Clients". The Daily Beast. Retrieved October 31, 2018.
  3. ^ "News & Notices - NFA". www.nfa.futures.org. Retrieved November 2, 2018.
  4. ^ "Jacob Wohl, The Teenage-Hedge Fund Manager, Has Been Ordered To Cease And Desist". Retrieved November 2, 2018.
  5. ^ a b c "Jacob Wohl Heading To Las Vegas With Instagram Models, Won't Meet With Regulators – ValueWalk Premium". valuewalkpremium.com. Retrieved October 31, 2018.
  6. ^ "Mueller refers sex misconduct scheme targeting him to FBI for investigation". www.nbcnews.com. Retrieved November 1, 2018.
  7. ^ "What we know about the shady 'intel agency' behind an alleged GOP scheme to pay women to falsely accuse Mueller of sexual misconduct". Retrieved November 3, 2018.
  8. ^ Markay, Lachlan; Rawnsley, Adam (November 2, 2018). "Jacob Wohl's Fake P.I. Firm Ghosted on Ex-Homeless Woman Looking For Her Stolen Truck". The Daily Beast. Retrieved November 2, 2018.
  9. ^ "If Surefire Intelligence Really Was Behind False Avenatti Police Report, Jacob Wohl Could Be in Deep Trouble". lawandcrime.com. Retrieved November 15, 2018.
  10. ^ Zadrozny, Brandy (November 1, 2018). "Jacob Wohl, 20, far-right conspiracy theorist, gets a moment in spotlight with Mueller plot: The Trump supporter, once billed as a teenage financial guru, has a history of schemes". NBC News. Retrieved November 3, 2018.
  11. ^ "Mueller refers alleged scheme targeting him to FBI for investigation". Retrieved November 3, 2018.
  12. ^ Bertrand, Natasha (October 30, 2018). "Mueller Wants the FBI to Look at a Scheme to Discredit Him". Retrieved November 3, 2018.
  13. ^ Willis, Jay (October 30, 2018). "MAGA Trolls' Efforts to Take Down Robert Mueller Flame Out in Hilarious and Spectacular Fashion". GQ. Retrieved October 31, 2018.
  14. ^ "The incredibly shoddy plot to smear Robert Mueller, explained". Vox. Retrieved October 31, 2018.
  15. ^ "Law Professor Jennifer Taub Talks 'Really Creepy' Email She Got as Part of Alleged Scheme to Smear Mueller". www.mediaite.com. Retrieved October 31, 2018.
  16. ^ "Jacob Wohl on Twitter". Retrieved November 2, 2018.
  17. ^ Nguyen, Tina. "How the Jacob Wohl Saga Explains What's Deranged About MAGA". Retrieved November 4, 2018.
  18. ^ Roberts, Roxanne; Argetsinger, Amy (April 13, 2010). "Reliable Source - Hey, isn't that...?: Robert Mueller summoned to jury duty; Rose McGowan visits the W". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 8, 2018.
  19. ^ Sommer, Will (November 1, 2018). "Mueller Smear Pushed by Pro-Trump Activists Falls Apart at Press Conference". Retrieved November 2, 2018 – via www.thedailybeast.com.
  20. ^ "No proof, no victim at news conference alleging Mueller sex assaults". Retrieved November 2, 2018.