Federal judge says MyPillow’s Mike Lindell must pay $5M in election data dispute

'MyPillow' founder/Political activist Mike Lindell speaks during CPAC Texas conference at Hilton Anatole. Dallas^ TX - August 5^ 2022

A federal judge said that ‘MyPillow’ chief executive Mike Lindell must pay $5 million to a software engineer who challenged data that Lindell said proves China interfered in the 2020 U.S. presidential election. Lindell, who says he plans to appeal, pointed out that the breach-of-contract lawsuit was against one of his companies, Lindell Management LLC, and not against him personally.

Lindell launched his “Prove Mike Wrong Challenge” as part of a “Cyber Symposium” he hosted in South Dakota in 2021. Lindell offered a $5 million reward through Lindell Management for anyone who could prove that “packet captures” and other data he released there were not valid data “from the November 2020 election.” Software engineer Robert Zeidman entered the challenge with a 15-page report that concluded the data from Lindell did not “contain packet data of any kind and do not contain any information related to the November 2020 election.” A panel of contest judges, including Lindell’s attorney, declined to declare Zeidman a winner.

Last April, a panel of three arbitrators unanimously ordered Lindell to pay Zeidman $5 million, concluding that he had satisfied the contest rules. In the new ruling, U.S. District Judge John Tunheim expressed concern about how the panel interpreted what he called a “poorly written contract,” but said courts have only limited authority to overrule arbitration awards and ordered Lindell to pay up with interest within 30 days.

Lindell has conceded that he doesn’t have the money to pay the money awarded Zeidman: “We’re not able to pay — I can’t borrow money to pay these attorneys. MyPillow can’t pay because of what happened. I have $10,000 to my name.”  Lindell has previously said that MyPillow had to work to stay afloat after stores like Walmart and Bed Bath & Beyond “canceled” his product.

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