Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Judge Flicks Off Uber and its Phony Private Eye

A strange side-show battle over snooping charges came to an end Monday when a judge in federal court ruled that Uber Technologies and its CEO Travis Kalanick could not use background information it dug up on a passenger who brought a price-fixing suit against Kalanick.

Courtesy of Thinkgeek
Judge Jed Rakoff said Ergo, the Manhattan-based firm Uber hired to conduct the investigation into the plaintiff and his lawyer, "engaged in fraudulent and arguably criminal conduct." Ergo was not licensed to conduct private investigations in New York state and its operative interviewed subjects under phony pretexts. He may also have violated state laws by taping the interviews without subjects' consent.

"It is a sad day," Rakoff began the 31-page opinion, "when, in response to the filing of a commercial lawsuit, a corporate defendant feels compelled to hire unlicensed private investigators to conduct secret personal background investigations of both the plaintiff and his counsel."

Uber declined to comment. more