Most people must know by now that Apple has zero tolerance for dishonest behavior inside or outside the company. This info was made public by an Apple spokesperson right after the company discovered that a mid-level Apple manager was arrested at the end of last week because he had accepted more than $1 million in kickbacks from a large number of Asian suppliers of iPhone and iPod accessories. As you might have guessed, this is a pretty big deal. Paul Shin Devine, a global supply manager, as well as Andrew Ang of Singapore were both named in a 23-count federal grand jury indictment for wire fraud, money laundering and kickbacks, Mercury News reports.
“Apple is committed to the highest ethical standards in the way we do business,” Apple spokesman Steve Dowling said in a statement. “We have zero tolerance for dishonest behavior inside or outside the company.”
Seeing how Apple keeps everything in check, let’s see how the mid-manager manager to pull this off. The scheme used an elaborate chain of US as well as Asian bank accounts and one front company to receive payments, according to the indictment. Ang and Devine worked together to route money around the world, in an attempt to hide its source. Some accounts were even in the name of Devine’s wife. Aside from getting money from transfers to the many bank accounts, Devine also received kickbacks when he traveled through Asia. Code words such as ‘sample’ were also used to refer to the payments. This way, Apple co-workers would not become suspicious regarding what was happening around them. Devine made perfect use of his position at Apple to leak confidential information about future products (oh, so that’s why we’ve been getting so many leaks lately?). The manager transmitted all the information to the Asian suppliers and manufacturers who were quite interested in finding out what Apple might be interested in buying in the future.
The Asian suppliers would constantly be informed on upcoming models, competing bids as well as how much Apple would pay for certain items. This kind of information obviously proved valuable and gave the companies an upper hand in negotiations with Apple. According to the Wall Street Journal, three of the companies involved were Kaedar Electronics Co, Cresyn Co and Jin Li Mould Manufacturing Pte, of China, South Korea and Singapore respectively.Reportedly, Devine is now in the custody of the US Marshals Service while Ang’s location is for the moment unknown. In a separate civil suit, Apple also sued Devine, claiming he had received more than $1 milion in “payments, kickbacks and bribes” over several years.11
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