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Political consultant behind fake Biden robocalls faces $6 million fine and criminal charges

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — The Federal Communications Commission has issued a $6 million fine against the political consultant who sent AI-generated robocalls mimicking President Joe Biden’s voice to voters ahead of New Hampshire’s presidential primary.

Steve Kramer, who also faces two dozen criminal charges in New Hampshire, has admitted orchestrating the message sent to thousands of voters. He did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday but previously said he was trying to send a wake-up call about the dangers of artificial intelligence.

The FCC also issued a $2 million fine against Lingo Telecom, which is accused of transmitting the call. A company spokesperson did not immediately respond to a call seeking comment Thursday.

FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said regulators are committed to helping states go after perpetrators. In a statement, she called the robocalls “unnerving.”

“Because when a caller sounds like a politician you know, a celebrity you like, or a family member who is familiar, any one of us could be tricked into believing something that is not true with calls using AI technology,” she said in a statement. “It is exactly how the bad actors behind these junk calls with manipulated voices want you to react.”

Holly Ramer And Ali Swenson, The Associated Press

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