U.S. authorities said on Wednesday that a former Twitter employee was found guilty of a severe offense and sentenced to 3.5 years in prison in San Francisco, California.
Ex-Twitter manager Ahmad Abouammo abused his position at the top social media firm with only a $42,000 watch and two wire transactions totaling $100,000 to put innocent Americans in grave danger. Now that Elon Musk is in control and has cleaned house, both the firm and the nation are in a far better position than previously, as each dismissal and internal file release demonstrates.
Abouammo exchanged user information for a fancy watch and monetary payments, which could not have justified the 3.5-year prison sentence he finally received for his data activities. However, despite the punishment, Abouammo can count himself fortunate, since prosecutors had sought a seven-year term, as reported by Reuters.
According to the Daily Caller, “Abouammo was found guilty of spying and money laundering on behalf of the Saudi Arabian government, and using his position at Twitter to acquire information about Twitter users for the Saudi Royal Family in August.”
The maximum possible sentence was “decades” in jail. According to Reuters, prosecutors sought a seven-year sentence to “deter others in the technology and social media industry from selling out the data of vulnerable users.” Abouammo’s counsel allegedly requested a non-incarceration probationary term at his Seattle residence.
The Daily Caller provided new trial facts revealing the severity of Abouammo’s crime:
During the August trial, prosecutor Eric Cheng said “they paid for a mole” during his closing argument, noting that Abouammo was paid in bribes three times his salary. “We all know that kind of money is not for nothing,” he said.
Abuoammo managed media for high-profile users in the Middle East and North Africa for Twitter. Abuoammo was arrested in 2019 in Seattle, but was set free on bail until the trial in San Francisco.
Abuoammo’s attorneys noted that he was dealing with financial trouble while at Twitter, saying that he had been “struggling to pay for and deal with serious upheavals in his sister’s life,” which included medical care for her newborn daughter.
Reuters reported that Abouammo, who oversaw Twitter’s relationships with journalists and celebrities in the Middle East and North Africa, transmitted sensitive information from the company’s systems to assist Saudi officials in identifying and locating Twitter users of interest, exposing them to the risk of persecution.
The United States Department of Justice stated in a news statement that Abouammo behaved as a foreign agent.
A California man was sentenced yesterday to 42 months in federal prison for his role in accessing, monitoring and conveying confidential and sensitive information that could be used to identify and locate Twitter users of interest to the Saudi Royal Family.
Ahmad Abouammo, 45, formerly of Walnut Creek and currently residing in Seattle, was convicted of acting as a foreign agent without notice to the Attorney General, conspiracy, wire fraud, international money laundering and falsification of records in a federal investigation on Aug. 9 following a two-week jury trial.
More on this story via The Republic Brief:
“Mr. Abouammo violated the trust placed on him to protect the privacy of individuals by giving their personal information to a foreign power for profit. His conduct was made all the more egregious by the fact that the information was intended to target political dissidents speaking out against that foreign power,” said Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen of the Justice Department’s National Security Division. “We are committed to holding accountable those who act unlawfully as unregistered foreign agents and advance hidden influence campaigns on behalf of foreign regimes.” CONTINUE READING…