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How a Former Netflix IT Exec Built a Brazen Bribery Scheme

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Netflix logo, cracked

Netflix's former vice president of IT operations was convicted of taking bribes from technology vendors in exchange for awarding them contracts with Netflix, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Friday (May 7). The former VP's illegal scheme forced colleagues to use a variety of products, including one that suffered from "severe" performance problems and another that Netflix employees objected to because they preferred a different product the company was already paying for, the DOJ said.

Michael Kail, the ex-Netflix executive, was convicted by a federal jury of wire fraud, mail fraud, and money laundering. He used his position at Netflix to approve contracts for vendors that gave him bribes and kickbacks, the DOJ announcement said.

"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," acting U.S. attorney Stephanie Hinds said.

Kail was VP of IT operations at Netflix from November 2011 until August 2014.

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