Contest Winner Asks Court to Force Lindell to Pay Up

'It’s kind of put up or shut up time for Mr. Lindell'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 20, 2023 1:15 PM CDT
Updated May 20, 2023 10:31 AM CDT
Lindell Ordered to Pay $5M to Guy Who Proved Him Wrong
Mike Lindell stops by a rally for supporters of former President Donald Trump, Tuesday, April 4, 2023, in West Palm Beach, Fla.   (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
UPDATE May 20, 2023 10:31 AM CDT

A computer forensics expert who debunked data that Mike Lindell claimed proved there was interference in the 2020 election is taking the MyPillow CEO to federal court. Lindell failed to meet an arbitration panel's deadline of May 19 to pay $5 million to Robert Zeidman, the Washington Post reports. Zeldman has asked a federal court in Minnesota to confirm the panel's decision on the "Prove Mike Wrong" contest and force Lindell to pay up. "It’s kind of put up or shut up time for Mr. Lindell," Zeidman’s attorney, Brian Glasser, tells CNN. "If Lindell is not a complete fraudster, he should have the ability to pay." Lindell has asked a state court to vacate the panel's decision. "It’s just all corrupt," he tells the Post.

Apr 20, 2023 1:15 PM CDT

MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell has been ordered to pay $5 million to somebody who proved him wrong in the "Prove Mike Wrong Challenge." Lindell, one of the most fervent supporters of Donald Trump's election conspiracy theories, issued the challenge at a "cyber symposium" he held in 2021, saying he had data proving China interfered with the election—and would pay $5 million to anybody who could prove it wasn't from the 2020 election, Rolling Stone reports. Computer forensics expert Robert Zeidman took part in the challenge, applied to claim the prize, then filed for arbitration when Lindell's company refused to pay up. The contest's rules stated the disputes would be resolved by "final and binding arbitration."

The arbitration panel said Zeidman "performed under the contract" he signed to take part in the challenge, CNN reports. He proved that the data Lindell provided "unequivocally did not reflect November 2020 election data," the panel said, and failure to pay the $5 million prize "was a breach of the contract, entitling him to recover." Zeidman's lawyers told the panel that the files Lindell provided at the symposium contained "no recognizable data in any known data format." The panel said it was "not asked to decide whether China interfered in the 2020 election" or whether Lindell possessed the proof he claimed to have. "The focus of the decision is on the 11 files provided to Mr. Zeidman in the context of the Contest rules," the panel wrote.

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Zeidman—a 63-year-old Trump voter from Nevada who describes himself as a "moderate conservative"—tells the Post he is "really happy" with the decision. "The truth is finally out there," he says. Lindell was ordered to send Zeidman the $5 million within 30 days, though he doesn't seem inclined to pay up. "They made a terribly wrong decision! This will be going to court!" he said in a text message to the Post. But his lawyers might be busy: Lindell is being sued for $1.3 billion by Dominion Voting Systems, which settled its defamation case against Fox this week for $787.5 million. (More Mike Lindell stories.)

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