6 people prosecution A Washington state jury bribed an Amazon employee to manipulate third-party seller listings on e-commerce sites, including listings for defective or dangerous goods. The authorities said.
Since 2017, people, including two former Amazon employees, have paid more than $100,000 to hold a list of products and accounts that Amazon has blocked or paused on the marketplace, which will allow third-party sellers to promote and sell their products. can. Said justice. Ex-employees also provided internal Amazon information allowing attacks on other third party sellers and their accounts. This is where the seller’s list of products is flooded with fake negative reviews.
According to authorities, the defendants had access to contact information for Amazon employees and customers, which they shared widely. Three were in New York, one in Georgia, one in California, and one in India.
“Subjects realizing they couldn’t compete in fair competition turned to bribes and fraud to gain an edge. Equally concerned, they not only tried to increase sales of their products, but they also tried to damage competitors and undermine credit,” FBI Seattle Special Agent Raymond Duda said in a statement.
The list of restored products included dietary supplements removed due to safety complaints, household appliances marked flammable, products removed due to violation of intellectual property rights, and other items. Some of the restored accounts have been suspended due to posting of fraudulent product reviews, while others have been deleted due to “improper contact with consumers” and other violations of Amazon’s policies.
“Amazon has systems in place to detect suspicious behavior by sellers or employees, and we have a team in place to investigate and stop prohibited activities,” the company said in a statement. “Now I am particularly disappointed with the actions of this limited group of former employees, and I am grateful for the cooperation and support of law enforcement agencies to bring them and the villains they were entangled with to justice.”
Amazon’s ongoing Difficulties with third-party sellers and marketplaces It caught attention this summer as lawmakers questioned CEO Jeff Bezos at an antitrust hearing held in the House Judiciary Committee. Fear of counterfeitingAccused of anti-competitive behavior of retailers themselves: Amazon Alleged copying of Marketplace products It’s a claim the company has rejected to create its own competitive product.
Analysts have estimated that third-party sellers account for about half of the site’s sales. Third-party sellers appear on regular Amazon listings with a line of text indicating that Amazon itself is not an actual seller.
Six defendants in Washington state are charged with wire fraud, bribery, and unauthorized access to protected computer systems. Wire fraud charges can result in up to 20 years in prison.