RIVERSIDE (CNS) – Arraignment was postponed for the third time today for a 22-year-old Corona man who gained notoriety for popularizing conspiracy theories online and is now facing multiple felony financial fraud charges.
Jacob Wohl and his former business partner, Matthew Johnson, 30, are each charged with two counts of violating the California Corporations Code by selling unregistered securities, which the pair allegedly sold in July and August of 2016, according to the criminal complaint filed by the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office last Aug. 19.
The defendants are now scheduled to be arraigned on Feb. 24 at the Riverside Hall of Justice.
The Daily Beast reported that prosecutors had until the end of August to file charges in the case due to a three-year statute of limitations.
The investigation into Wohl stemmed from a complaint from an Arizona resident that he had invested $75,000 with Wohl and Johnson, and ultimately lost the money, the Los Angeles Times has reported, citing court documents.
Following the complaint, an undercover investigator posed as a real estate agent with a client who wanted to invest money with Wohl and Johnson and had multiple conversations with the two men in July 2016.
Prosecutors allege Johnson offered the undercover investigator and a second detective who posed as the client a document calling for the client to invest $100,000 in a one-year note that would give a rate of return of 17% and the money would be used to purchase and flip homes, the Times reported, citing court documents.
Communications between the investigator, Wohl and Johnson stopped in late August 2016.
The next month, a temporary cease-and-desist order was filed against Wohl, Johnson and one of Wohl’s financial companies, by the Arizona Corporation Commission. Johnson and Wohl consented to fines and penalties.
An arrest warrant was issued for Wohl, and he was taken into custody Aug. 19. He briefly appeared in court at time before being released on his own recognizance, and the arrest warrant was canceled, court records show.
His father and attorney, David Wohl, told The Times that he and his son were unaware of the allegation before seeing the Daily Beast report and claimed prosecutors filed charges against his son without interviewing him and because the statute of limitations for filing charges was about to expire, the Times reported.
In 2018, Jacob Wohl allied himself with Jack Burkman, a lawyer and conservative conspiracy theorist, to allege special counsel Robert Mueller engaged in sexual impropriety. At the time, Mueller was investigating allegations the Trump campaign had conspired with Russian operatives to influence the 2016 presidential election.
The pair gave little evidence for the allegations and the woman described as the accuser told USA Today no such assault had occurred and Wohl approached her under a false identity.