Two defendants have admitted their involvement in a multi-million dollar plot to manipulate the Amazon Marketplace e-commerce platform.

Six people have been now charged in the conspiracy for bribing Amazon employees and contractors to expose sensitive information.

They schemed to exploit such information to give select vendors an advantage on Amazon Marketplace.


Joseph Nilsen, 32, and Kristen Leccese, 33, both of New York, had admitted Monday, May 16, to US District Court in Seattle, for paying over $100,000 in bribes between 2016 and 2020.

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Nilsen and Leccese acknowledged conspiring to pay bribes to get confidential Amazon business information in their plea.

It was to reinstate banned third-party sellers and product listings on the Marketplace, as well as to evade Amazon regulations on particular items and manipulate user reviews.

Nilsen and Leccese will be sentenced in US District Court in Seattle on September 9.

Nilsen will face charges of conspiring to commit wire fraud, violating the Travel Act, and tax charges which bring up a total of 28 years in prison.

Whereas, Leccese admitted to conspiring to violate the Travel Act.

In February, another man, Rohit Kadimisetty, was sentenced to 10 months in prison and told to pay a $50,000 fine.

Ephraim Rosenberg of New York and Hadis Nuhanovic of Acworth, Georgia are scheduled to face trial in October.

Nishad Kunju, a sixth defendant from Hyderabad, India, has not been extradited to the United States for trial.

An Amazon spokesperson said: “There is no place for fraud at Amazon, and we worked with the Department of Justice to hold these bad actors accountable.”

Source: ABC News

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