Bloomberg Businessweek

Amazon’s Secrets Are Up for Sale

It sounds like the plot of a made-for-Netflix crime drama. A Brooklyn businessman stuffs $8,000 in cash in a suitcase and calls an Uber to send it to accomplices. Hundreds of thousands of dollars crisscross the globe via MoneyGram, PayPal, and foreign bank accounts in a plot to swindle more than $100 million from the world’s most valuable internet retailer and its customers.

But it’s the real-life story of a small ring of e-commerce consultants and Inc. employees who federal prosecutors say bribed Amazon workers for more than three years to gain access to the company’s most sensitive secrets, according to a 38-page indictment released on Sept. 18. The accused allegedly rigged in their favor its web store, where shoppers around the world spend hundreds of billions of dollars a year. Six people have been charged with allegedly conspiring to pay bribes, according to the Department of Justice.

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