SAN JOSE, CALIF. —
A former Netflix executive was sentenced Tuesday to 2 1/2 years in U.S. federal prison for taking bribes and kickbacks from tech companies to approve lucrative contracts with the streaming giant.
Michael Kail, 52, of Los Gatos also was ordered to forfeit US$700,000 and pay a US$50,000 fine, the U.S. attorney’s office said in a statement.
“Bribery and kickbacks are pernicious crimes that stifle Silicon Valley’s culture of competitive innovation,” acting U.S. Attorney Stephanie M. Hinds said in the statement.
Kail is a former Netflix vice president who oversaw the company’s internet technology department. Prosecutors alleged that Kail accepted more than US$500,000 in kickbacks — as well as valuable stock options — in exchange for approving millions of dollars in contracts for nine tech companies seeking to do business with Netflix between February 2012 and July 2014.
In April, Kail was convicted of 28 counts of fraud and money laundering.
Netflix prohibits its employees from having conflicts of interest and requires them to disclose actual or apparent conflicts of interest and to report gifts from people or entities seeking to sell to the company, authorities said.