On April 30, a jury in California found the former vice president of IT operations at Netflix guilty for an alleged bribery scheme. The 52-year-old man was then sentenced on Dec. 14 to serve 30 months in prison and forfeit $700,000. He was also ordered to pay a $50,000 fine.
Bribery and kickbacks
According to the indictment, the accused man used his position at Netflix to bribe third-party technology companies for contracts with Netflix. When Netflix required technology services from a vendor, the man would contract only the vendors that agreed to reward him with cash and stocks. According to prosecutors, the “pay-to-play” bribery scheme did not allow for free and fair business competition among potential Netflix contractors.
The man was accused of defrauding Netflix and Netflix shareholders by approving contracts and authorizing payments for services and products that didn’t necessarily benefit Netflix’s business interests. The kickbacks that the man received totaled more than $500,000 not including stock options. A home that the man purchased in Los Gatos was believed to be a direct result of his scheme.
The man was first indicted for the scheme in 2018, and his exact charges were as follows:
- 19 counts of wire fraud
- 7 counts of money laundering
- 3 counts of mail fraud
The jury took three weeks to deliberate and found the man guilty on 28 of the 29 counts. The jury also determined that property the man had purchased using proceeds of the fraudulent acts had to be forfeited.
White-collar crime investigations can take years
In many cases, investigations into these types of charges can take years. Prosecutors must use forensic accountants to analyze years of financial transactions and income reports, and the process is not easy. If you are being investigated for fraud, you may have time to begin your own counter investigation before you are handed charges.