Winner of 'Prove Mike Wrong' contest takes Mike Lindell to court for $5 million after successfully proving him wrong
Mike Lindell owes Robert Zeidman $5 million over a contest to disprove the 2020 election was rigged.
Zeidman is asking a court to enforce an arbitration panel decision granting him the $5 million.
Lindell told Insider that Zeidman, a computer scientist, "isn't even a cyber guy."
In August 2021, the far-right conspiracy theorist Mike Lindell held a "Prove Mike Wrong" contest.
Five million dollars, Lindell said, would go to any person who could look at his trove of "cyber data and packet captures from the 2020 November election" — which he said shows that the 2020 presidential election was rigged — and prove that it is "not valid data from the November Election."
Robert Zeidman, a computer scientist who entered the contest, did exactly that.
Lindell refused to pay him. Now he's taking Lindell to court to get the $5 million.
"Mr. Zeidman followed everything to a T," Zeidman's attorney Cary Joshi told Insider Friday. "He's a meticulous guy."
According to an April arbitration panel decision, Zeidman successfully demonstrated that the data contained generic information about polling places, was completely unrelated to the election, or was just gibberish.
Lindell's contest judges declined to declare him the winner. In an interview with Insider on Friday, the MyPillow CEO maintained that Zeidman was part of "a big cover-up to a much bigger picture" and shouldn't have been allowed in the contest in the first place. The 2020 presidential election was not stolen or rigged.
"Zeidman isn't even a cyber guy. He didn't even have the credentials to be in the contest," Lindell said. "This is all a sham, and we're gonna go to court."
After Lindell refused to award Zeidman the money, he took the pillow mogul to a binding arbitration, in accordance with the contest rules. A panel agreed that Zeidman won the contest fair and square with his analysis of the data, and told Lindell to pay up.
Lindell refused, telling Insider in April that the arbitration panel made a "horrible decision." Lindell asked a state court to vacate the arbitration panel decision, saying the panel "exceeded its powers."
The MyPillow CEO told Insider on Friday that the arbitration decision was "a big sham" and "a big setup" and that his lawyers were "working on" getting the evidence to prove it.
"These three arbitrators unanimously decided in our favor on every single point," Joshi said. "The fact that their petition doesn't say anything is what's really surprising. They have such a huge hurdle to overcome."
In a petition filed to federal court in Minnesota, first reported by the Washington Post, Zeidman asked for a judgment in the amount of $5 million against Lindell. A judgment would allow Zeidman's lawyers to go to the financial institutions backing Lindell's company Lindell Management LLC and get the money from them directly.
The petition also asks for an additional 10% in annual interest on the $5 million award, in accordance with Minnesota law.
Joshi told Insider there's no basis for Lindell's claim that Zeidman should not have been in the "Prove Mike Wrong" contest.
"It's just a complete misunderstanding of the facts in the case," Joshi, Zeidman's attorney, said. "At no point during our legal proceedings did they ever, ever challenge the idea that Mr. Zeidman didn't fulfill whatever the prerequisites were to be able to be a part of the contest."
Lindell maintained his own petition, filed to state court on Thursday, would reveal the truth.
"Mike Lindell is not gonna take this big sham," he told Insider, speaking in the third person.
Lindell is separately facing defamation lawsuits from Smartmatic and Dominion Voting Systems, two election technology companies he falsely claimed rigged the 2020 presidential election.
Last month, Fox Corp. and Fox News agreed to pay $787.5 million to settle Dominion's separate lawsuit against them, the largest publicly known settlement in a defamation case in US history. Part of the litigation concerned false statements Lindell made on Fox News broadcasts.
Lindell told Insider Friday he was frustrated that Fox News caved.
"Whatever backdoor deal they made with Dominion was disgusting," he said.
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