Apple official busted for taking kickbacks and bribes

A global supply manager working for Apple has been charged in a US federal grand jury indictment for wire fraud, kickbacks and money laundering, and is also facing a civil suit from Apple itself.

According to a report by the San Jose Mercury News, 37 year old Paul Shin Devine of Sunnyvale, California was named in the 23 count indictment along with Andrew Ang of Singapore.

The charges relate to an alleged fraud scheme that claims Devine used his security clearance at Apple to provide confidential information about upcoming products to Apple’s suppliers, including Ang. The indictment says those suppliers then used the secrets to negotiate favorable contracts with Apple and subsequently paid Devine kickbacks, which he shared with Ang…

The companies involved were not named in the indictment, but include suppliers for iPhone and iPod products and were said to be located in “various countries in Asia,” including China, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan…

In addition to the criminal prosecution, Apple is also reportedly bringing a civil suit that claims Devine accepted more than a million dollars in “payments, kickbacks and bribes” over several years…

Apple has long worked hard to maintain secrecy in order to keep competitors guessing and to excite customers with flashy product releases, but the case also highlights threats the company faces in working with its own partners in the lucrative business of supplying parts and assembling new products.

And – as did the folks at Apple Insider – I wonder if this will affect the recent increase of apparently easy leaks on imminent Apple products.

The vendors these two worked with wouldn’t feel bound by the sort of non-disclosure agreements Apple requires – already working with crooks while chasing business.

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