Former Netflix Exec Gets Prison For Taking Tech Bribes

Former Netflix vice president Michael Kail has been sentenced to 30 months of prison and ordered to forfeit $700,000 and pay a $50,000 fine for taking kickbacks from tech companies for contracts with the streaming service.

Kail, 52, supervised Netflix’s IT operations. He was charged by the U.S. attorney’s office for the Northern District of California with accepting stock options and more than $500,000 in kickbacks between February 2012 and July 2014 in return for approving millions of dollars in contracts with Netflix.

In April, a jury convicted Kail, a resident of Los Gatos, California, of 28 counts of wire and mail fraud and money laundering.

“Bribery and kickbacks are pernicious crimes that stifle Silicon Valley’s culture of competitive innovation,” said Acting United States Attorney Stephanie M. Hinds. “Michael Kail used his highly compensated Netflix position to siphon cash and valuable stock options from his tech vendors, the same vendors whose Netflix contracts he signed and whose technologies he pushed his teams to use.  Such crimes come with a cost, as reflected by the prison sentence that Kail will now serve.”  

“Mr. Kail’s greed to enrich himself cost Netflix and its shareholders money and property by agreeing to contracts for goods and services beyond what the company needed or would have paid for,” stated IRS-Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Mark H. Pearson.  “Mr. Kail abused a position of trust and facilitated a scheme that benefited himself.  IRS-Criminal Investigation is committed to uncovering these heinous acts of greed and prosecute such malevolent crimes.”

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