Six Charged In Amazon Bribery Case In U.S.

Six people were indicted by a grand Jury in the Western District of Washington with conspiring to pay over $100,000 in commercial bribes to Amazon employees and contractors, in exchange for an unfair competitive advantage on the Amazon Marketplace, the U.S. Department of Justice said.

According to the indictment, all the six accused used bribery and fraud since 2017 to benefit merchant accounts on the Amazon Marketplace, resulting in more than $100 million of competitive benefits to those accounts, harm to competitors, and harm to consumers.

The indictment said that Amazon employees who accepted bribes reinstated sellers whose accounts had been suspended for offering dangerous products.

Ephraim Rosenberg, 45, of Brooklyn, New York; Joseph Nilsen, 31, and Kristen Leccese, 32, of New York, New York; Hadis Nuhanovic, 30, of Acworth, Georgia; Rohit Kadimisetty, 27, of Northridge, California; and Nishad Kunju, 31, of Hyderabad, India, were charged with conspiracy to use a communication facility to commit commercial bribery, conspiracy to access a protected computer without authorization, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and wire fraud.

The defendants paid bribes to at least ten different Amazon employees and contractors, including Kunju, who accepted bribes as a seller-support associate in Hyderabad, India, before becoming an outside consultant who recruited and paid bribes to his former colleagues, the U.S. Justice Department said.

Meanwhile, Amazon said it has supported the lengthy investigation. It looks forward to working with law enforcement agencies to hold those bad actors accountable for their illegal activities.

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