WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — The US Justice Department and the FBI are investigating Cambridge Analytica, the British marketing analytics firm embroiled in the Facebook data scandal, and have questioned potential witnesses, The New York Times reported Tuesday.
CA has vehemently denied exploiting data obtained from up to 87 million Facebook users for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, claiming it deleted data obtained in breach of the social network’s terms of service.
The company announced early this month it was closing and would file for bankruptcy in Britain and the United States, saying it had been “vilified” by the “numerous unfounded accusations.”
US investors have sought to speak with banks that have handled the company’s business, the Times said, citing an American official and others familiar with the investigation as saying the probe appears to focus on CA’s finances and how it obtained and used personal data from Facebook.
One of the prosecutors involved in the inquiry is Brian Kidd, assistant chief of the Justice Department’s securities and financial fraud division, with the help of at least one agent who investigates cybercrime for the FBI.
Kidd traveled to London with another Justice Department prosecutor and an AFP agent this month to interview ex-CA employee Christopher Wylie, according to the Times.
“I can confirm that I’ve been contacted by the FBI and the Department of Justice, and answered preliminary questions,” Wylie told the newspaper. “We plan to meet again to provide substantive answers to the investigators.”
The Times said it was unclear whether the probe was linked to the one led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to tip the presidential election toward the Republican.
© Agence France-Presse