Brooklyn, NY, consultant for Amazon sellers sentenced to home detention and fine for role in bribery scheme


Date: July 14, 2023


SEATTLE — A successful consultant to Amazon third-party selling partners (3P Sellers) was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle for his participation in an international bribery scheme used to aid his clients, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Tessa M. Gorman. Ephraim Rosenberg was sentenced to two years of probation, including a year of home confinement, and a $100,000 fine. At the sentencing hearing, U.S. District Judge Richard A. Jones noted that Rosenberg "participated in the scheme for a period of three years. You stopped because you got caught by law enforcement."

"Mr. Rosenberg participated in a scheme to bribe Amazon employees for confidential information and improper benefits – and he didn't just funnel bribes through his co-conspirators to workers in India -- he paid a Seattle Amazon employee more than $18,000 for confidential information," said Acting U.S. Attorney Gorman. "After first attacking the federal indictment brought in this case, Mr. Rosenberg has now admitted his crimes and has publicized his regret about his criminal conduct as a warning to others who scheme to illegally manipulate the marketplace."

According to records filed in the case, between July 2017 and September 2020, Rosenberg and his coconspirators used a number of illegal tactics to steal internal and confidential data from Amazon. Rosenberg paid bribes to obtain confidential notes and information as to why certain clients, 3P Sellers, had been suspended by Amazon. The clients could then use that information to craft their appeals to be reinstated. Rosenberg also purchased forged documents to act as proof that certain products had been purchased from approved suppliers. In fact, the use of the forged documents could allow counterfeit or even unsafe products to enter the marketplace and harm consumers.

While Rosenberg used bribery and fraud to assist his clients, there is no evidence that he engaged in negative attacks on other 3P sellers. Other conspirators in the scheme made false complaints to Amazon, posted sham negative reviews and even defaced sellers' product listings. Those defendants who attacked other Amazon sellers have faced more significant prison sentences.

Hadis Nuhanovic of Acworth, Georgia, was sentenced in February 2023, to 20 months in prison, forfeiture of $100,000 and $160,453 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service. Rohit Kadimisetty, was sentenced last year to ten months in prison and a $50,000 fine. Kristen Leccese and Joseph Nilsen have pleaded guilty and are scheduled for sentencing on September 8, 2023.

In her sentencing memo, Assistant United States Attorney Miriam Hinman wrote, "Rosenberg committed a serious crime when he corrupted Amazon employees, stole from Amazon, and gained access to internal systems and controls—all to the disadvantage of Amazon, small businesses, and consumers. Rosenberg and his co-conspirators used their insider knowledge of Amazon to break its rules and abuse Amazon's platform. They stole Amazon's confidential information to line their own pockets… These activities resulted in deceiving customers and unfairly disadvantaging small businesses that followed the rules. This long running, global conspiracy caused significant harm."

The case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with assistance from the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, and the Department of Justice Office of International Affairs.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Miriam R. Hinman.