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Former Netflix CTO convicted of taking bribes



As early as 2014, Netflix sued its former CTO Michael Kyle, accusing him of taking bribes before leaving the company to join Yahoo (in 2016, Yahoo merged with AOL to form Oath, which was the parent company of Engadget before it was bought by Verizon). He was eventually accused of taking a $ 690,000 kickback from technology companies that had contracts with Netflix, a scheme the company said was revealed based on a review of emails in his work account.

The trial was delayed due to the COVID pandemic, but jurors on Friday convicted Kyle of 28 of the 29 points he faced. In a statement to BloombergKail’s lawyer pleaded not guilty, accused Netflix of using his influence as a powerful company to spur the prosecution, and said there would be an appeal against the verdict. During the process, Law 360 reports that his defense attributes the deals to Netflix’s culture “without rules” and says they are legitimate.

According to FBI Special Agent Craig D. Fair, Kyle “created a pay environment that stole the opportunity to work with an industry pioneer from honest, hard-working Silicon Valley companies.” In a statement from prosecutors, he broke down payments from companies to Kail’s consulting firm and what was paid by Netflix. It says he received more than $ 500,000 and stock options from the companies.

Netflix did not comment publicly on the result, but said in 2014 that the various participating providers were paid more than $ 4 million, with Kail receiving commissions of 12 to 15 percent from at least two companies. Netflix and Kail settled their case in 2015. He remains on bail pending sentencing and could face up to twenty years in prison and a fine. No matter what happens during the sentencing or appeal process, between this and the recent $ 690 million Ponzi scheme, Netflix is ​​assembling its own library of genuinely criminal documentary content.

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