The U.S. attorney’s office in Seattle said each of the defendants provided consulting services to vendors in the Amazon marketplace, and that they bribed more than 100,000 employees of e-commerce companies in total.
The accused include two former Amazon workers who allegedly bribed company employees to re-establish sales of products that were considered substandard or dangerous.
They are said to have used it to attack customers’ competitors, suspend accounts, and share privacy information about Amazon’s methods for listings. The Wall Street Journal reported the news on Friday.
In return Money, Amazon Indigenous provided defendants with access to proprietary Amazon data – in some cases – reliable access to the company’s systems, lawyers insisted.
In a statement, Amazon said it supported the investigation and worked with it Federal Agent Involved in the case.
“Bad actors like this are moving away from the growing community of honest entrepreneurs who make up the majority of our sales,” Amazon said.
Two of the defendants, Joseph Nilsson, 31, and Kristen Lacey, 32, provided consulting services through a company called Digital Checkmate Inc.; Ephraim Rosenberg, 45, led a similar initiative called Amazon Sales Group DG; Hadis Nuhanovic, 30, provided fee-based advice and guided his own third-party vendor accounts; And former Amazon employees Rohit Kadimichetti, 27, and Nishat Kunju, 31, became consultants to third-party vendors.
Prosecutors say at least 10 Amazon employees and contractors were bribed into the scheme.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office explained that wire fraud and wire-fraud conspiracy charges against the group are punishable by up to 20 years in prison and fines. An additional charge of conspiracy to use a communication facility to promote business bribery is punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine.
The six-member panel is scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in Seattle on Oct. 15.
“As the world moves increasingly to online commerce, we must ensure that the market is not distorted by the unjustified benefits derived from bribery and kickbacks,” said U.S. Attorney Brian D. Moran said Report. “The ultimate victim of this criminal behavior is the purchasing public.”
In April, The Wall Street Journal announced the use of third-party sales data by technology company Launch its own competitive products, Which sparked a congressional hearing on hopeless grounds.