Joel Rosenblatt, 01 May 2021
A former Netflix Inc. executive was convicted of taking kickbacks from vendors in exchange for approving millions of dollars in contracts for products and services, federal prosecutors said.
A jury on Friday found Michael Kail, a former vice president of information technology operations, guilty of wire and mail fraud and money laundering after a two-week trial, according to a statement issued by the U.S. Attorney’s office in San Francisco.
“Bribery undermines fair competition and innovation in any business arena, and particularly Silicon Valley’s highly competitive environment of cutting-edge innovation,” Acting U.S. Attorney Stephanie M. Hinds said in the statement.
Kail used his influence at the company to rig its contracts with technology vendors “to unlock a stream of cash and stock kickbacks to himself,” Hinds said.
Kail’s lawyer, Julia Mezhinsky Jayne, said in a statement that he will appeal the “inexplicable” verdict, which she said is unsupported by evidence and driven by Netflix.