Fake Biden robocall linked to Texas-based companies, New Hampshire attorney general announces

The state’s Attorney General announced Tuesday that a robocall using an AI voice similar to President Joe Biden to warn New Hampshire voters not to vote in the state’s presidential primary was linked to two Texas-based telecom companies.

In a press conference held on Tuesday, New Hampshire Attorney-General John Formella said that the sources of the calls are linked to two companies: Life Corporation, and Lingo Telecommunication. Formella identified Walter Monk, the owner of Life Corporation.

Formella stated that the investigation was ongoing and that it involved additional entities than Life Corporation and Lingo Telecom. He didn’t say who or what entity was behind the AI audio and disinformation campaign. Formella stated that no charges had been filed.

“We’ve sent a cease and desist letter to Life Corporation, ordering the company to immediately cease violating New Hampshire electoral laws. Formella stated that a criminal probe has been opened. We are now taking the next steps, including sending subpoenas and document preservation notices to Life Corporation, Lingo Telecom and other individuals or entities.


Formella stated that the number of robocalls was in the “thousands”, though he gave a range from 5,000 to 25,000 as a possible estimate.

These calls were made before New Hampshire’s primary presidential election in January. They urged New Hampshire voters to “save their vote” for the November elections and not vote in the contest.

“Republicans are trying to get nonpartisan and Democratic votes to vote in their primary.” “What a bunch of nonsense,” says the digitally manipulated Biden voice on the call. We know how important it is to vote Democratic, especially when the votes are counted. You should save your votes for the November elections. Your help will be needed to elect Democrats at all levels of the ballot. “Voting on Tuesday will only help the Republicans to elect Donald Trump once again.”

Biden’s campaign said at the time that the matter had been referred by the Attorney General, and called the call disinformation.

Formella stated on Tuesday that “I believe this case is unique because it provides us with a real-life instance of an attempt to manipulate an election using AI.” It’s something we have been worried about for some time in law enforcement, and state attorneys general are also concerned. We had never seen an attempt as concrete as this one, just days before the primary, to use AI in order to influence an election or mislead a voter.

Formella said that, although he refused to provide specifics, he believed other entities who were not named may have relevant information regarding the robocalls.

“I won’t give you an exact figure, but I can tell you that it is beyond Texas Life Corporation and Walter Monk. It’s also beyond Lingo Telecom. He said that there are several other entities with which we believe we can obtain relevant information. “I wouldn’t be surprised to find more entities or individuals than those we have found so far,” he added.

Julie Chavez Rodriguez, the campaign manager for Biden’s presidential campaign, praised Formella in an official statement released on Tuesday.

She said, “Disinformation that aims to suppress voting and undermine free and fair elections in a deliberate manner is an unacceptable threat. We commend the New Hampshire attorney general for taking this matter seriously and acting swiftly as a strong example against future attempts to disrupt democratic election.”

An AI voice creation tool

According to two separate analyses conducted by Pindrop, a security company, and digital forensic experts from the University of California Berkeley, the fake audio was produced using ElevenLabs.

ElevenLabs said in a CNN statement that they are “dedicated” to preventing misuse of audio AI and take appropriate action when authorities report it. However, they declined to comment specifically on the Biden deepfake.

Formella and Federal Communications Commission said Monk had previously run into issues with US robocall laws. The FCC sent a cease and desist letter to Lingo Telecom on Monday. It said that both Lingo as well as Monk’s Life Corporation had been warned previously about apparent illegal violations of robocall regulations.

The FCC cited Life Corporation in July 2003 for sending “one or multiple prerecorded, unsolicited ads to residential phone lines.”

The FCC stated that Monk’s Company delivered prerecorded advertisements to telephone subscribers, who did not have any business relationship with Monk and had not authorized the calls.

According to the FCC’s citation, Life Corporation failed to disclose the required information on the prerecorded call, including the name of caller, the person for whom the call was made, as well as an address or phone number.

The FCC rules on telephone solicitation are also violated by the citation, which was sent to Life Corporation and 16 other business names for the company.

The citation includes a warning about the financial penalties that can be imposed for subsequent violations. These include fines of up to $11,000 per violation, or daily fines of up to $100.

FCC orders have forced telecom companies to disconnect from the US phone network if they continue to facilitate illegal robocalls. This is part of an overall crackdown by federal and state officials on illegal robocalls.

As part of an anti-robocall task force, more than 50 attorneys general representing both parties sent a letter to Life Corporation about the AI generated robocall on Tuesday.

Attorneys general have expressed concern that Life Corporation, or others, “may attempt to replicate” in their respective states the type of deepfake call that affected New Hampshire. In the letter, Life Corporation was told to “stop originating any illegal calls immediately” and that these calls could violate numerous laws.

Monk, who is a serial businessman, describes himself in social media profiles viewed by CNN. In an interview with Dallas Magazine, he discussed his many failed ventures. Monk spent over $1 million on a company that sold “upscale survival equipment” to women. Dallas Magazine called it a failure of epic proportions.

Voice Broadcasting is one of Monk’s ventures. It has been paid for sending political robocalls. The company advertises its ability to send up to 8 million calls a day on behalf clients. Voice Broadcasting was contacted by CNN. The person answering the phone told CNN that Monk is “very busy”, and the company has not decided whether or not to release a statement.

Monk’s political past is little known. Little is known about Monk’s own political history.