Home > technology > Amazon employee arrested, charged with issuing $96,500 in fake refunds

  • An ex-Amazon employee was arrested and charged with fraud last week after the company reported him to the FBI, Amazon said on Monday.
  • The Amazon employee, Vu Ang Nguyen, is charged with wire fraud and identity theft by federal prosecutors, who say in court documents that Nguyen used his position to issue $96,508 in fraudulent refunds to himself and friends.
  • Nguyen worked as a selling support associate for Amazon.com based in Tempe, Arizona, which gave him the power to manually authorize refund requests.
  • Last month, a different Amazon employee was charged by the SEC with making $1.4 million from insider trading while working as a finance manager for the company.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

A former Amazon employee has been arrested by federal authorities and charged with committing wire fraud and identity theft, the company disclosed Monday.

Vu Ang Nguyen, who worked as an Amazon selling support associate in Tempe, Arizona, was arrested by the FBI after Amazon reported him to the authorities in July, the company said. Nguyen is charged with fraudulently issuing $96,508 in refunds to himself and others.

As a selling support associate, Nguyen had the power to manually issue refunds to buyers doing business on Amazon.com, according to the criminal complaint against him. Prosecutors accuse Nguyen of using eight fake buyer accounts to purchase expensive computers and electronics before issuing more than 300 refunds to the accounts, funneling the money to himself and his associates without returning the electronics.

Nguyen was caught after the buyer accounts were detected, Amazon said, and prosecutors said that digital records show that he carried out the transactions from Amazon’s own office while at work. After ignoring multiple questions from Amazon about the suspicious activity, Nguyen resigned in March, according to the complaint. Amazon then reported him to the FBI in July, the company said. 

At the same time, Nguyen was the subject of a separate SEC investigation for alleged securities fraud that resulted in losses of over $1 million from eight brokerage firms.

“We thank the Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation for their swift work to hold this fraudster accountable. There is no place for misconduct or fraud at Amazon,” Amazon said in a statement. “We hold our employees to a high bar, have systems in place to proactively prevent fraud, continue to monitor activity, and will pursue all measures to protect our store and hold bad actors accountable.”

Nguyen’s case is the latest in a string of federal crackdowns involving former Amazon employees. Last month, six people were charged with bribing Amazon employees to allegedly gain an edge against competitors on Amazon’s marketplace. Another former Amazon employee was charged by the SEC last week with making $1.4 million from insider trading while working as an Amazon finance manager.

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