Internet ninjas are shot while the company tries to evade fines

Contractors are with Cyber ​​Ninjas, the company contracted by the Arizona State Senate to conduct an audit of 2020 election results, and inspect ballot papers from the 2020 general election at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix, Arizona, in May 2021.

Contractors are with Cyber ​​Ninjas, the company contracted by the Arizona State Senate to conduct an audit of 2020 election results, and inspect ballot papers from the 2020 general election at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix, Arizona, in May 2021.

The self-proclaimed Cyber ​​Ninjas behind the deceptive “scrutiny” of the results of the 2020 election in Maricopa County, Arizona are scattered in the wind after a series of humiliating defeats. In what looks almost like a desperate maneuver to evade $50,000 in daily fines for disobeying a court order, the company is now claiming it has been disbanded and all employees have been fired.

“Cyber ​​Ninjas are shutting down. All employees are laid off,” company political representative Rod Thompson, He told NBC News via text message on Thursday. in a Later statement to CNNThompson blamed “$2 million in debt arising from the Arizona audit and the endless legal and personal attacks on the company by those who opposed the audit.”

It was Cyber ​​Ninjas practically unknown before last year. That was when members of the Republican Party delegation to the Arizona Senate who were seeking to invest oConspiracy theories that Donald Trump lost the 2020 election only because of massive voter fraud who contracted the company to audit ballot papers in populous Maricopa County. The effort was futile – Republicans were retroactively trying to wish a sinister plot into existence, and the vote count was already counted.

But Cyber ​​Ninjas are run by a Qunun and “Stop the theft” An amateur named Doug Logan bravely Advance regardlessFollow any leads, no matter how silly. Together with an army of untrained partisan volunteers they scanned ballot papers for non-existent ultraviolet watermarks indicating fraud, and looked at them under microscopes for The infamous Chinese bambooand searched for “Kinetic marks“Prove… something. In the process, they reportedly get lost Around 9 million dollars, including state funds and $5.7 million from donors. The company’s final report eventually confirmed that Joe Biden had won Maricopa County but listed 77 cases that he insisted were still suspects.

local election officials Report released This week it was discovered that 76 of these claims were errors or misunderstandings caused by Cyber ​​Ninja’s incompetence and failure to understand Arizona election law, or appeared to be outright fabrication. That appeal was issued when Cyber ​​Ninjas faced a promise of $50,000 daily fines in a lawsuit brought by the Arizona Republic, which is trying to force the company to release internal text messages, emails and other audit records. Cyber ​​Ninjas have continued to insist that as a private company they are not subject to the Public Records Act and do not need to release anything, even though the court has already issued an order requiring them to do so.

Thursday , The Washington Post reported, Maricopa Superior Court Judge John Hana ordered Cyber ​​Ninjas to immediately release the records or pay fines of $50,000 per day, saying, “It is clear in this record that Cyber ​​Ninjas have ignored this order.”

Cyber ​​Ninjas seem to have been under the impression that solving himself is a clever trick that will allow him to continue dodging records requests. The company’s attorney, Jack Willenczyk, told The Post that because it had no employees, it could no longer search those records. according to News agencyThat argument won’t work, Hannah said, because he hasn’t seen any evidence that Cyber ​​Ninjas have actually run out of money and the company can simply send the records to Senate legislative lawyers for sorting.

“The court will not accept the assertion that Cyber ​​Ninjas are an empty shell and that no one is responsible for seeing their commitment,” Hana said, adding that he is willing to start applying fines to individuals associated with Cyber ​​Ninjas if the company remains stubborn

It’s not even clear how many employees Cyber ​​Ninjas actually had in the first place, let alone how many employees were laid off this week. As of Friday afternoon, only three individuals are listed as employees of Company LinkedIn Page, while only a few other profiles list previous work there. CNN has Previously mentioned That there is little evidence that the company employs anyone except Logan. The company’s automated voice messaging system routed all calls to the sales, purchasing, and human resources departments to Logan’s voice mailbox, as well as the general inquiries line. CNN also found that the listed address of its legal division is a rented PO Box in Sarasota, Florida, Where does Logan live?. Logan claimed to be More than $2 million in debt, despite of paying off Mortgage of $455,000 last year and receiving forgiveness from the $100,000 federal pandemic loan.

Willenchik, who should theoretically be the last person the company is still technically paying for, isn’t. According to the Associated Press, he asked the court to let him get out of the case because the Cyber ​​Ninjas didn’t pay their legal bills.

A request for comment submitted by Gizmodo via Cyber ​​Ninja’s online contact form was not returned. We’ll update this piece if we hear back. (Gizmodo also understands that a ninja is something very different from a ronin, who was essentially an independent samurai during the Japanese feudal period, but feel free to complain in the comments below.)

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