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A federal judge has banned Uber Technologies and its chief executive Travis Kalanick from using information obtained in a background check of a plaintiff bringing a price-fixing lawsuit, saying the firm that conducted the investigation engaged in arguably criminal conduct.
US District Judge Jed Rakoff in Manhattan said the firm, Ergo, crossed a line when its unlicensed investigator lied to friends and acquaintances of plaintiff Spencer Meyer in a bid to dig up derogatory information about him and his lawyer. Rakoff faulted the investigator for claiming to seek information about up-and-coming researchers in environmental conservation, when the real purpose was more likely to intimidate Meyer or hurt his case over pricing practices at Uber , the ride-sharing service.
The judge said Ergo was engaged in fraudulent and arguably criminal conduct and that many of the documents it sought to protect were intended to facilitate this fraudulent and arguably criminal activity. He also faulted Uber for hiring Ergo.