Six accused in Amazon Marketplace bribery scheme to help third-party sellers

Six accused in Amazon Marketplace bribery scheme to help third-party sellers

There have been six Charged A major arbitration tribunal in the state of Washington has accused Amazon of bribing employees to handle third-party vendor lists on the e-commerce site, including listings for defective or dangerous products Officials said.

Beginning in 2017, people, including two former Amazon employees, gave Amazon lists of products and accounts that Amazon had blocked or withheld from its market for more than $ 100,000, allowing third-party vendors to promote and sell their products, the Department of Justice said. Ex-employees also provided internal Amazon information, which allowed attacks on other third-party vendors and their accounts, including filling sellers’ product lists with fake negative reviews, officials said.

Defendants approached contact information for Amazon employees and customers, which they shared widely, officials said. Three of the population are from New York, one from Georgia, one from California and one from India.

“Realizing that they could not compete on a level playing field, the subjects turned to bribery and fraud. Equally, they not only tried to increase sales of their own products, but also tried to damage and discredit their competitors,” Raymond Duda, FBI’s special agent, said in a statement.

Re-installed product lists include food items removed for security complaints, household electronics flagged as flammable, products removed for intellectual property violations, and other items. Some re-established accounts have been suspended for posting fraudulent product reviews, while others have been removed for “improper contact with consumers” and other violations of Amazon’s policies.

“Amazon has systems in place to detect suspicious behavior of vendors or employees, and teams to investigate and stop prohibited activity,” the company said in a statement. “Now we are particularly disappointed by the actions of this limited group of former employees and appreciate the cooperation and support of law enforcement in bringing them and their bad justice to justice.”

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Amazon is going on Struggles with third party vendors and its market Attracting attention this summer, legislators questioned CEO Jeff Bezos during a hopeless hearing before the House Judiciary Committee False concerns, And is said to be anti-competitive behavior from the retailer: Amazon exists Allegedly copying market products The company has refused to create its own competitive products.

Analysts estimate that third-party vendors account for more than half of the site’s sales. Third-party vendors appear on regular Amazon lists, with a line indicating that Amazon is not a real seller.

All six defendants in the state of Washington face charges of wire fraud, bribery and unauthorized access to protected computer systems. Wire fraud charges carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

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Cory Weinberg

About the Author: Cory Weinberg

Cory Weinberg covers the intersection of tech and cities. That means digging into how startups and big tech companies are trying to reshape real estate, transportation, urban planning, and travel. Previously, he reported on Bay Area housing and commercial real estate for the San Francisco Business Times. He received a "best young journalist" award from the National Association of Real Estate Editors.

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