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Former Netflix executive found guilty on 28 charges of fraud, money laundering

Former Netflix executive Michael Kail was found guilty by a federal jury on Friday over charges including fraud and money laundering.

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Hannah Nightingale Washington DC
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Former Netflix executive Michael Kail was found guilty by a federal jury on Friday over charges including fraud and money laundering, Fox Business reports.

As a former Netflix Vice President, Kail oversaw the streaming giant's internet technology department. Kail's defense attorney Julia Jayne said that Kail helped turn the company into the technological success that it is today.

"We are very disappointed in the jury’s verdict," said Jayne. "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."

The charges Kail was indicted on back in 2018 were seven counts of money laundering, 19 counts of wire fraud, and three counts of mail fraud. He plead not guilty to all charges.

The jury found Kail guilty on 28 of the 29 charges at the conclusion of the nearly two week long trial that began April 19 in San Jose, California. Kail could face fines and up to 20 years in prison.

Jayne says that Kail intends to appeal the court's decision.

The prosecutors alleged that between February 2012 and July 2014, Kail accepted valuable stock options and at least $500,000 in kickback from nine tech companies looking to get contracts approved to do business with Netflix.

Prosecutors also alleged that Kail created Unix Mercenary LLC to be able to receive the bribes from these companies, and to buy another home in Los Gatos, California.

"Not only did Mr. Kail deprive Netflix of its money and resources by abusing his position as VP of IT Operations," said FBI Special Agent in Charge Craig D. Fair 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."

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