Alibaba.com (1688.HK) announced that both Chief Executive David Wei and Chief Operating Officer Elvis Lee are to leave the company following an internal investigation that uncovered significant levels of fraudulent sales through the e-commerce site, the Wall Street Journal reported. The investigation found that more than 2,300 sellers on the site had committed fraud, at times with the assistance of the Alibaba sales staff. The company said that Wei, Lee and other members of management were not involved in the fraud, but it accepted their wish to take responsibility for the “systemic break-down.” Fraudsters had been allowed to display Gold Supplier credentials, which are given after the filing of business-verification paperwork and the payment of a fee to Alibaba, by sales staff. This resulted in some buyers paying for goods that were never received.
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