Mike Lindell paid millions to "cyber experts"; allegedly bought luxury home for accused fraudster

MyPillow CEO may have bought $1.5 million home for supposed expert — who didn't even show up at "cyber symposium"

Published September 3, 2021 6:00AM (EDT)

Mike Lindell (Photo illustration by Salon/Drew Angerer/Ivan Hunter)
Mike Lindell (Photo illustration by Salon/Drew Angerer/Ivan Hunter)

MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell's alleged net worth of $300 million may be dwindling rapidly, thanks in large part to the team of blundering operatives, advisers and self-appointed cyber experts who have convinced Lindell to pay them big bucks for their thoroughly unsuccessful work to help him reverse the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. 

According to interviews with sources close to Lindell and documents reviewed by Salon, the bedding magnate has paid more than $3 million to various advisers and his team of "white hat hackers." They produced the supposed "packet-capture" evidence, which Lindell has promised for months would prove the election had been hacked, and were also paid to ensure its "safety" between the November election and Lindell's much-hyped "cyber symposium" last month in South Dakota. 

On Thursday, Josh Merritt, a former member of Lindell's "red team" at the South Dakota event, told Salon that the $3 million was split among a group of Lindell's "cyber experts." Most of the money, he said, went toward the purchase of a luxury Florida home for Dennis Montgomery, a discredited former government contractor with a checkered history who has become central to Lindell's operation. 

Merritt said that in the "red team room" he heard Lindell and an employee discuss "that being the house that Dennis Montgomery lived in. Lindell had stated many times he had paid Montgomery and others over $3 million, and he had spent a total of over $15 million" on his claims of election fraud.

"Lindell is who has been funding Dennis Montgomery since Nov. 3, 2020," Merritt said, adding that the mysterious home was a key point of Lindell's operation leading up to the South Dakota symposium, which Lindell claims only failed because it was hijacked by antifa insurgents

The home in question is a Naples, Florida, property acquired through a financial trust called Gray Horse, Merritt said, suggesting it was purchased through a pro-Trump lawyer and Lindell sidekick. "Gray Horse was just the trust name," Merritt said, "common practice when hiding and protecting an owner."

The $1.5 million luxury home in Naples, which has four bedrooms, a large swimming pool and palm trees, was reportedly where four hard drives that Lindell claimed were full of 2020 election "data" — specifically, the "Scorecard and Hammer" data much coveted by election truthers — were being stored ahead of the August cyber symposium. It was also where Dennis Montgomery had set up housekeeping. 

Salon obtained a Florida Department of State document filed on Aug. 23, showing that Montgomery registered his company, "Blxware LLC," at that address last week.

No financial disclosures about the purchase of the property have yet appeared in Collier County, Florida, land records. It appears the purchase was completed on July 12, weeks ahead of Lindell's South Dakota event — which Montgomery did not attend, saying he'd suffered a stroke.

Montgomery did not return a Salon request for comment for this story. 

Those who spoke to Salon describe the house purchase as evidence that Montgomery had successfully negotiated payment from Lindell for his work on the election fraud claims, well before the South Dakota event. They believe the Naples property was either purchased by Montgomery with Lindell's money or purchased for him by Lindell through a third party. 

Reached for comment on the matter using a previously unblocked number, Lindell hung up. He has previously described this reporter as an antifa activist, and on Thursday evening made vague threats against Salon. "We're still investigating Salon, we're still looking into that," he said during his internet broadcast. 

"This is somehow the saddest part of this whole story," said reporter Khaya Himmelman of the Dispatch, who attended Lindell's South Dakota event. "It's so obvious Lindell was taken for a ride. I'm not surprised about Montgomery's involvement, but I couldn't have guessed a house in Florida was involved. I'm only left wondering how Lindell fell for it."

Earlier this week, Salon exclusively reported that Lindell had recently sold one of his private planes as he faces a daunting legal battle against Dominion Voting Systems, which has filed a $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit against him, along with former Trump-related lawyers Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell. On his "Frank Speech" website Thursday, Lindell did not deny he had sold the plane, but described the Salon article as part of a mass "coverup." 

By Zachary Petrizzo

Zachary Petrizzo was an investigative reporter at Salon. Follow him on Twitter @ZTPetrizzo.

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