To gain a competitive edge in the retail market, six people have conspired to bribe Amazon employees and contractors, federal prosecutors announced Friday.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, people who pretend to be consultants and who previously worked with third-party sellers whose products were removed from the Amazon marketplace bring those products back to the platform. Then, six of them paid a total of over $100,000 in bribes to 10 Amazon employees in exchange for restoring a banned product or service. prosecution Insist. The product includes household items, appliances, and dietary supplements, the prosecution said.
US lawyer Brian Moran said in a statement that “the ultimate victim of this criminal activity is to buy the public to get inferior or even dangerous goods that should be removed from the market.” “As the world moves more and more to online commerce, we must ensure that the market is not corrupted by unfair profits from bribes and rebates.”
Bribery and telegraph fraud charges
Federal authorities have prosecuted Ephraim Rosenburg in Brooklyn, New York. Joseph Nilsen and Kristen Leccese of New York City; Hadis Nuhanoviv of Acworth, Georgia; Rohit Kadimisetty of North Ridge, California; And Nishad Kunju of Hyderabad, India, had commercial bribery conspiracy, access to protected computers, wire fraud and other infractions. India’s Kunju was involved in the plan as an Amazon employee, but later left the retailer to become one of the consultants, prosecutors claim.
Federal authorities claim that bribe Amazon employees have disclosed revenue information about other third-party sellers to consultants or temporarily suspended accounts for some sellers. Employees specifically targeted third-party sellers who competed with sellers working with six consultants, the Justice Department said.
The bribe also helped six consultants access Amazon’s marketplace’s operating procedures and algorithms, according to the indictment. The prosecution said this data, including insights into how search engines and product reviews work, gave third-party sellers an unfair competitive advantage in telling third-party sellers how to publish their products.
Raymond Duda, an FBI agent in Seattle, said in a statement that “subjects who realized they couldn’t compete in fair competition were bribed and scammed to gain an edge.” “Equally concerned is that they not only tried to increase sales of their products, but they also tried to damage competitors and undermine credit.”
Amazon said in a statement that Friday was “disappointed by the actions of a limited group of former employees,” allegedly involved in the plan. The company “has a system to detect suspicious behavior,” the technology company added.
Six defendants can face up to five years in prison for commercial bribery and up to 20 years for telegraph fraud. They will appear in court in Seattle on October 15th.