Breaking out of America’s motley cast of far-right political celebrities, 20-year-old Jacob Wohl stepped into the spotlight last week. He was apparently involved in a scheme to discredit special counsel Robert Mueller with fake sexual harassment allegations. But where did he come from? Who is Jacob Wohl?
Who is Jacob Wohl?
Jacob Wohl is a former hedge funder and current far-right political figure and conspiracy theorist. He has written for Gateway Pundit, a far-right website that often spreads false information. His father, David, has appeared on Fox News as a commentator.
Jacob Wohl and the Mueller scheme
Last week, two women reported that a person claiming to represent a company called Surefire Intelligence contacted them and offered them money to profess false allegations of sexual misconduct against Robert Mueller. Both women notified the special counsel’s office, which then alerted the FBI.
Earlier that day, Wohl tweeted that a major, damaging and “very credible” story about Mueller was about to break, and Gateway Pundit published a “dossier” about Mueller’s supposed misdeeds.
When journalists dug into the history of Surefire Intelligence, they found that it had been registered only three weeks earlier. Its domain records are linked to Wohl, and the company phone redirects to a phone number owned by Wohl’s mother.
After the women’s stories about being offered money reached the media, Gateway Pundit took down its dossier and said it would investigate the matter and Wohl.
Jacob Wohl and conspiracy theories
Wohl appeared on the scene in 2016 via an active Twitter account and TV appearances on which he professed to be a Trump supporter and often spread false information. He is often the first person to comment positively on Trump’s tweets, and Trump has retweeted him twice in 2018.
According to NBC News, “Wohl has adopted and amplified nearly every prominent conspiracy theory to arise in the last year.” He claimed Stormy Daniels cheated on her polygraph test; billionaire Democratic donor George Soros has paid protesters; and package bombs sent to 14 top Democrats were “false flags” intended to influence the midterm elections.
Jacob Wohl’s hedge fund
Wohl attained fame as a teenage investment guru, but his career ended in allegations of deceptive practices and led to him being investigated by federal authorities. In a newspaper profiles, he was dubbed “Wohl of Wall Street” and was said to have been investing since age 9. He claimed his fund, Wohl Capital, had 20 investors and offered a 22 percent return.
According to NBC News, in 2016, Wohl shut down that fund and launched two new ventures in Los Angeles. He was accused of trying to attract investors by hiring “bikini models” to conventions and events via Craigslist. More significantly, one investor said that although Wohl claimed his ventures were returning a profit, he could return only $44,000 on a $75,000 investment. Investigators later found that Wohl’s companies were profitable but the profits had been redirected to a fund owned by Wohl’s mother.
In 2017, the National Futures Association banned Wohl for life. He was found to have misled investors and ordered to pay $38,000 in restitution and fines. Later that year, Wohl’s attorney said they wouldn’t be able to make the first payment, NBC reported.