Any marketplace seller who has had their account suspended understands the feeling of desperation and sense of urgency to get reinstated. But some Amazon merchants were driven to use consultants that the government accused on Friday of conspiracy and fraud.
The Justice Department released an indictment against six people in connection with a multi-million dollar scheme to bribe Amazon employees and contractors. “Consultants to Amazon Marketplace merchants paid over $100,000 in bribes to secure an unfair competitive advantage worth more than $100 million,” federal prosecutors stated.
You can find more information (and leave a comment) on the EcommerceBytes Blog.
Amazon released the following press release on Friday:
Amazon Supports Department of Justice’s Prosecution of Six Defendants Charged with Fraud, Among Others
The United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington today brought charges against six individuals for 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. Amazon supported this lengthy investigation and the defendants were indicted this morning.
You can see the Indictment and related press release here:
Statement from Amazon:
Amazon is grateful to have worked with the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations, and the Department of Justice Office of International Affairs in their thorough pursuit of this case. We work hard to build a great experience for our customers and sellers, and bad actors like those in this case detract from the flourishing community of honest entrepreneurs that make up the vast majority of our sellers.
Amazon has systems in place to detect suspicious behavior by sellers or employees, and teams in place to investigate and stop prohibited activity. We are especially disappointed by the actions of this limited group of now former employees, and appreciate the collaboration and support from law enforcement to bring them and the bad actors they were entwined with to justice.
There is no place for fraud at Amazon and we will continue to pursue all measures to protect our store and hold bad actors accountable.
Amazon has an extensive history of protecting its customers from fraud and abuse.
See the full announcement on the About Amazon newsroom.