Feds Convict Former Netflix Executive Of Taking Bribes And Kickbacks From Start Up Companies

Feds Convict Former Netflix Executive Of Taking Bribes And Kickbacks From Start Up Companies

Netflix

Feds Convict Former Netflix Executive Of Taking Bribes And Kickbacks From Start Up Companies Photo: FILE - This Jan. 29, 2010, file photo, shows the company logo and view of Netflix headquarters in Los Gatos, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

A former Netflix executive has been convicted of taking bribes and kickbacks.

Michael Kail, a former Netflix VP who oversaw the company’s IT department, was found guilty by a federal jury of receiving stock options and more than a half-million dollars in bribes and kickbacks, Deadline reported. Kail received the funds as an inducement to approve contracts with the network during his 2011 to July 2014 tenure.

In 2018, when the former Netflix executive was indicted on 19 counts of wire fraud, three counts of mail fraud, and seven counts of money laundering. The incidents allegedly took place between February 2012 and July 2014. His trial began April 19 and April 30, the jury found him guilty on 28 of the 29 counts.

Kail approved millions of dollars in contracts for nine tech companies, accepting more than $500,000 in kickbacks and stock options, claimed prosecutors.             

“Bribery undermines fair competition and innovation in any business arena, and particularly Silicon Valley’s highly competitive environment of cutting-edge innovation,” acting US Attorney Stephanie Hinds said in a press release.

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“As Netflix’s Vice President of IT Operations, Michael Kail wielded immense power to approve valuable Netflix contracts with small tech vendors, and he rigged that process to unlock a stream of cash and stock kickbacks to himself. Netflix and other companies expect and deserve honest services from its employees,” she continued.

Netflix sued Kail after he left the company in 2014 to become Yahoo’s CIO, accusing him of fraud and breaching his fiduciary duties, Business Insider reported.

Netflix has yet to comment.

Kail could receive a maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison as well as a fine — either $250,000, twice the gross amount he pocketed as part of the scheme, or twice the amount of Netflix’s loss, whichever is greatest — for each wire or mail fraud conviction. Additionally, he faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each money laundering conviction, Business Insider reported.