Michael Kail, who once filled the position of Vice President of Information Technology Operations at Netflix from 2011 to 2014, has been convicted of crimes such as money laundering, taking bribes and wire and mail fraud while he worked at the company. According to the United States Department of Justice, the former Netflix executive took bribes and kickbacks from vendors that conducted business with the company. The former executive used his position while at Netflix to “unlock a stream of cash and stock kickbacks” for himself, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
The Department of Justice revealed that Michael Kail received bribes that amounted to more than half a million dollars, as well as stock options from nine tech companies that Netflix partnered with for products and services. The former executive was sued in 2014 by Netflix with claims that he disclosed payments received from vendors by directing them to his personal consulting company.
In an emailed statement to The Verge, Julia Mezhinsky Jayne; Michael Kali’s attorney, disclosed that they were disappointed in the verdict and planned to appeal. She claimed that her client was “a tremendous asset to Netflix and helped drive their success as a cutting-edge technology company”. In the emailed statement, he also described the verdict as “inexplicable and clearly unsupported by the actual evidence and the law”.
In 2018, Michael Kail was indicted on 29 counts of wire fraud, three counts of mail fraud, and seven counts of money laundering and has pleaded not guilty to all offenses. His attorney expressed her disappointment in the verdict by saying that “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”.
According to FBI Special Agent in Charge Craig D. Fair, “not only did Mr. Kail deprive Netflix of its money and resources by abusing his position as VP of IT Operations, he created a pay-to-play environment whereby he stole the opportunity to work with an industry pioneer from honest, hardworking Silicon Valley companies.
Up till now, Netflix has refused to say anything concerning the verdict.