An update from Robert Stanek on the Justice Department prosecution of 10 Amazon employees accepting bribes, writing fake negative reviews and targeting products for takedowns in a $100M fraud scheme:
Something that resonated the most with Cathy, Shannon and I is in the addendum where Robert Stanek says:
For me personally, the very fact that the US DOJ proved in court that Amazon insiders were a part of these despicable activities was vindicating. Not only did the DOJ prove to be true and correct what I had been saying for years and years, the DOJ also proved in court that targeting products with fake negative reviews was only one part of a larger scheme to harm targeted companies and products.
Again, the DOJ proved in court that in exchange for bribes, corrupted Amazon staff facilitated attacks against competitors of those paying the bribes, using their inside access to Amazon's network to suspend competitors' accounts and product listings, remove favorable reviews and commentary, write fictitious negative product reviews designed to hurt sales, post spurious comments to intimidate victims and drive away customers, and much more. All much as I experienced it on the receiving end of what was meant to, and did, destroy sales of my books for years and years.
His original post about the case with the charging documents in case Amazon tries to make all this disappear again:
Robert also has written extensively about the competitors and their friends involved directly with attacking his books and name. These include:
Melissa Foster (romance author)
Carolyn Arnold (mystery author)
David Langford (author)
Stephen Leigh (author)
Jim C. Hines (author)
Victoria Strauss (author)
David Louis Edelman (author)
Patrick Rothfuss (author)
Tim Spalding (Library Thing)
Maureen Johnson (author)
Adam Whitehead (Wertzone, Best Fantasy Books)
Patrick Dennis (Pat’s Fantasy Hot List, Best Fantasy Books)
Back when this started, authors like romance author Melissa Foster literally had hundreds of questionable reviews written by friends, family, associates and paid services. Melissa Foster and others now they have many, many thousands and thousands of questionable reviews.
How many Robert Stanek reviews were they talking about for all those years? A few hundred.... Yep, a few hundred, across the more than 70 books Robert had published at that time. But they didn't stop there. They and their friends kept at it for TWO DECADES because they needed a scapegoat to point fingers at.
Thanks for reading,
Team Read Indies