Lyft driver charged with anti-Semitic hate crime previously worked in trust and safety at Twitter

A California man accused of committing a federal hate crime wasn’t always a rideshare driver—he used to work as a trust and safety officer at Twitter.

Before driving for Lyft, Csaba John Csukás handled emergency disclosure requests at Twitter, now X, that were submitted by law enforcement officers seeking access to users’ accounts. (According to X guidelines for law enforcement, approvals are evaluated on a case-by-case basis and approved only when there’s a credible fear that someone may be in danger or come to harm.)

After seeing the Twitter position on his LinkedIn page, Fortune confirmed with a source at X he was employed there. (Most of Cuskás’ social media accounts now appear to be deleted.) When reached for comment by Fortune, an email reply from X read: “Busy now, please check back later.”

Csukás is facing up to 10 years in prison. He was arrested on March 13 for an Oct. 26 incident in which he allegedly punched a would-be passenger. When Csukás approached the individual who’d requested the ride, he asked “if the victim was Jewish or Israeli, stated that he would not transport a Jewish or Israeli person” and struck the person in the face, according to the indictment.

“No one in this country should live in fear because of how they worship or where they come from. The Justice Department will aggressively prosecute those who perpetrate hate-fueled violence motivated by antisemitism or by bias of any kind,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said.

Lyft confirmed to UPI that Csukás was a driver at the time of the incident and removed him after the altercation. A spokesperson added: “Lyft unequivocally condemns anti-Semitism and all other forms of discrimination on the basis of religion or country of origin. We have contacted the rider to extend our support and assistance, permanently removed the driver’s account from the platform and assisted law enforcement with their investigation.”

According to the Matthew Sheppard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009—codified as 18 U.S. Code § 249—Csukás, if convicted, could also face a $250,000 fine in addition to a decade behind bars.

The Anti-Defamation League found that 2023 closed with a 337% increase in antisemitic incidents, the bulk of which happened after Oct. 7, the day Hamas launched an attack against Israel. The ADL found over 2,000 antisemitic incidents between Oct. 7 and Dec. 7, with 40 of them rising to physical altercations.

“This terrifying pattern of antisemitic attacks has been relentless since the Israel-Hamas war began on Oct. 7, with no signs of diminishing,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said at the time.

Elon Musk bought Twitter for $44 billion in October 2022, after which the company’s Trust and Safety Council was dissolved. Musk has come under fire for endorsing anti-Semetic comments, accusations that he’s called “bogus” but also apologized for.

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