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Former Netflix Exec Guilty of Bribery, Kickbacks

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May 3, 2021

Michael Kail, formerly VP of IT Operations with Netflix, who was indicted in 2018 on 29 counts of wire fraud, mail fraud and money laundering, was found guilty on 28 counts by a federal jury. The verdict came on April 29. Kail received more than $500,000 in bribes and kickbacks from tech companies seeking his approval for contracts with Netflix. He faces up to 20 years in prison, but remains free on bond until sentencing, which will likely take place in about three months. Kail created and controlled a limited liability company he called Unix Mercenary LLC, to receive the bribes. He used the money for personal expenses including the purchase of a home in Los Gatos, California. “Not only did Mr. Kail deprive Netflix of its money and resources by abusing his position,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Craig D. Fair said in a statement, “he created a pay-to-play environment whereby he stole the opportunity to work with an industry pioneer from honest, hardworking Silicon Valley companies.” Kail’s attorney said she was very disappointed with the verdict. “It goes to show that an innocent person can be convicted when there are so many counts stacked against them and there is a powerful corporation, Netflix, driving the investigation and prosecution.”May

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