The federal jury finds the former employee of Twitter Middle East Media Partnerships of fraud, conspiracy, obstruction and indictment of foreign agents in the bribery scheme to access, monitor and disclose user information on behalf of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its royal family for guilty
A federal jury yesterday convicted a former media partnerships manager for the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region at Twitter of operating as a foreign agent without notifying the Attorney General, conspiracy, wire fraud, international money laundering and falsifying records in a federal investigation. The ruling follows a two-week trial before the Honorable Senior US District Judge Edward M. Chen for the Northern District of California.
According to court documents and evidence presented at the hearing, Ahmad Abouammo, 44, formerly of Walnut Creek, California, and currently a resident of Seattle, was employed by Twitter as Media Partnerships Manager for the MENA region. Evidence at the trial showed that Abouammo accepted bribes in exchange for accessing, monitoring and transmitting private information from Twitter users to officials in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Saudi royal family. In this position, Abouammo was responsible for protecting Twitter user information and owed Twitter his honest services. Twitter policies also required Abouammo to disclose violations of Twitter’s security policies and to report gifts from people doing business with the company. When questioned about accessing Twitter user information and accepting bribes, Abouammo lied to FBI investigators and forged a document.
“Abouammo acted secretly as a foreign government agent to crack down on dissenting voices,” said Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen of the Department of Justice’s National Security Division. “This ruling shows that the Justice Department will not tolerate any act of transnational repression and will hold accountable those who oppose hostile regimes in…