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State Department Offers Reward for Election Interference Information

Officials single out a purported Russian troll farm and its alleged financial backer ahead of midterm elections.

Yevgeniy Prigozhin looking to the side, with a half smile
Sanctioned Russian businessman Yevgeniy Prigozhin.

The US Department of State is offering up to $10 million for information about foreign people or groups looking to disrupt US elections, specifically pointing to a Russian troll farm known as the Internet Research Agency and its purported financial backer.

The offer of the reward comes a little more than three months before Americans are set to head to the polls for the 2022 midterm elections. 

US intelligence agencies and investigative reports say that during the 2016 presidential election, the Internet Research Agency used workers to create fake accounts on social media and pose as Americans, infiltrating real activist communities and sowing division. The company is believed by US intelligence agencies to be under orders from the Russian government.

The State Department also is looking for information about Yevgeniy Prigozhin, a Russian businessman and ally of President Vladimir Putin, who is believed to be providing funding to the IRA through his companies, along with a handful of other Russian nationals that are believed to have worked for the agency. Prigozhin was previously sanctioned by the US government for his alleged ties to the IRA.

The reward is being offered by the State Department's Rewards for Justice program, which since its start in 1984 has paid out more than $250 million to more than 125 people who provided information that helped resolve threats to US national security.