SAN FRANCISCO — Former Twitter Inc. employee Ahmad Abouammo was found guilty of spying for Saudi Arabia after passing on private user information associated with critics of the kingdom in exchange for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Abouammo, 44, who worked at Twitter
from 2013 to 2015 managing media partnerships with high-profile users in the Middle East and North Africa, was also found guilty of money laundering, falsification of records and one count of wire fraud by the 11-person jury on Tuesday. Abouammo was found innocent on five other counts of wire fraud.
Abouammo repeatedly accessed the email accounts and phone numbers of accounts that criticized the Saudi government, including the anonymously run account “mujtahidd,” prosecutors said. He then shared that information with a Saudi official affiliated with that country’s government who, in return, gave him a luxury watch and hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to prosecutors.
“They paid for a mole,” prosecutor Eric Cheng said in closing arguments last week, adding that Abouammo took bribes close to three times his annual salary for almost a year. “We all know that that kind of money is not for nothing.”
An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.
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