Multiple Amazon Sellers Are Convicted of Price Fixing DVDs on Amazon & Must Pay $795,000 in Fines Along With Jail Time





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The Department of Justice convicted several Amazon Marketplace sellers and companies for price fixing DVDs and Blu-Rays sold on the e-commerce site. The offending parties, who all plead guilty, were slapped fines collectively totaling almost $795,000 in addition to jail time, home confinement and supervised release. The convicted include companies like Michelle’s DVD Funhouse, MJR Prime, Prime Brooklyn and BDF Enterprises, as well as sellers Victor Btesh, Emmanuel Hourizadeh, Raymond Nouvahian, Morris Sutton and Bruce Fish.

Online shopping is almost unavoidable today and presents another opportunity for scammers and bad actors to prey on customers. Online shopping schemes can be hard to spot as technology barrels forward. Deputy Assistant Attorney General Manish Kumar of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division said this makes it vital to protect online shoppers. The sprawling e-commerce site allows third-party vendors to sell new and used products on the site. The defendants and co-conspirators were selling over-priced DVDs and Blu-Rays through Amazon Marketplace storefronts, the DOJ said of court documents.

“Conspiring to fix prices in online marketplaces is a federal crime,” U.S. Attorney Francis M. Hamilton III for the Eastern District of Tennessee said in a statement. “These convictions and sentences demonstrate our office’s commitment to prosecuting price-fixing conspiracies and to protecting consumers in the Eastern District of Tennessee from paying inflated prices in online marketplaces.”

Amazon is no stranger to battling scammers. In April, the e-commerce giant previously fined The Bountiful Company $600,000 for “review hijacking,” where the company received fake high ratings and reviews, as well as “#1 Best Seller” and “Amazon’s Choice” badges. The company’s goal was to manipulate product pages. Scams also extend to fake tech support phone numbers aimed at tricking Fire TV and Roku users into purchasing services they don’t need.

Most recently, Amazon sued several online stores for selling pirated DVDs of Amazon Original shows The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power and The Peripheral.

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