- He is the first of six consultants indicted in September 2020, for fraud targeting Amazon.com and its online Marketplace.
Rohit Kadimisetty of Northridge, California has been sentenced to 10 months in prison and a fine of $50,000, for his role in an Amazon bribery scheme. The 28-year-old Indian American is the first of six consultants indicted in September 2020, for a fraud and bribery scheme targeting Amazon.com and its online Marketplace.
At the sentencing hearing, U.S. Attorney Nick Brown said “Kadimisetty used his knowledge and contacts from prior employment at Amazon, to enrich himself by manipulating listings on Amazon Marketplace,” Brown said, according to a DOJ press release. He was a critical cog in the bribery wheel: paying contacts in India to reinstate suspended accounts, steal confidential information and attack competitors who got in the way of those funding the bribery scheme.”
The DOJ press release, citing records in the case, noted that since at least 2017, the defendants have used bribery and fraud to elevate and benefit certain merchants on the Amazon Marketplace. Kadimisetty and the other defendants served as so-called consultants to third-party (“3P”) sellers on the Amazon Marketplace, who sold a wide range of goods.
Following his employment at Amazon, and after relocating to the United States, Kadimisetty used his inside knowledge to recruit employees in India to misuse their employee privileges and access to internal information, systems, and tools. He connected employees in India with other consultants and 3P sellers across the U.S. He acted as a middleman of sorts, assigning tasks on behalf of 3P sellers and negotiating and arranging bribe payments on behalf of corrupted Amazon insiders. To hide his criminal conduct, he used deceptive email accounts, encrypted messaging services, and bribes through third parties.
“The illicit services provided by Kadimisetty and the other defendants included: stealing confidential business information about Amazon algorithms; reinstating accounts and products that had been suspended; circumventing inventory fees for Amazon warehouses; falsifying claims for lost inventory; and facilitating attacks on competing sellers and product listings, the DOJ said.
In his plea agreement, Kadimisetty admitted being responsible for $100,000 in bribes paid to Amazon insiders during his active involvement in the enterprise. He left the conspiracy in late-2018 after a number of his contacts in India were fired by Amazon due to the misconduct.
Four defendants – Ephraim Rosenberg of Brooklyn, Joseph Nilsen and Kristen Leccese of New York City, and Hadis Nuhanovic of Acworth, Georgia, are scheduled for trial in October. Nishad Kunju of Hyderabad has not been arraigned on the indictment.