A former Amazon employee was sentenced to 10 months in prison and fined $50,000 for an international fraud and bribery scheme, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced.
Rohit Kadimisetty of Northridge, California, was sentenced Friday after pleading guilty to conspiracy in September 2021. He was one of six people indicted for fraud and the first to be sentenced in an international scheme to manipulate the Amazon marketplace, according to the DOJ.
The group allegedly bribed Amazon employees to gain an advantage in Amazon’s marketplace.
Kadimisetty relocated from India to the US in 2015 and hired Amazon employees in India to “misuse their employee privileges and access to internal information, systems, and tools,” according to the DOJ, which added a number of his contacts in India have been fired from Amazon.
CNBC reported Friday Kadimisetty worked as seller support employee in Hyderabad, India, until 2015.
“Mr. Kadimisetty used his knowledge and contacts from prior employment at Amazon to enrich himself by manipulating listings on Amazon Marketplace,” said Nick Brown, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington state, in a statement.
Since 2017, according to the DOJ, the defendants served as “consultants” to third-party sellers on Amazon Marketplace, who sold goods ranging from electronics to dietary supplements. Kadimisetty allegedly bribed Amazon employees, for a total of $100,000 to gain confidential business information about the company’s algorithm and to facilitate “attacks” on other sellers using fake email accounts, encrypted messaging services and third-party bribes to hide the scheme.
“We work hard to create a trustworthy shopping experience by protecting customers, selling partners, and Amazon from fraud and abuse, and we have systems in place to detect suspicious behavior,” Amazon said in a statement. “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.”
Kadimisetty ended his involvement in 2018.
A trial for the four other defendants is scheduled for October.