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This article was published on March 1, 2011

    Ex-Apple manager pleads guilty in kickback scheme

    Ex-Apple manager pleads guilty in kickback scheme
    Francis Tan
    Story by

    Francis Tan

    Francis Tan is the Asia editor of TNW, who is based in the Philippines. He is particularly interested in Asian Internet startups, social me Francis Tan is the Asia editor of TNW, who is based in the Philippines. He is particularly interested in Asian Internet startups, social media and e-commerce. Get in touch with him via Twitter @francistan or Email [email protected].

    A former Apple manager pleaded guilty to multiple criminal counts after being accused of taking kickbacks from Asian suppliers.

    In a Reuters report, Paul Devine, Apple’s global supply manager from 2005-2010, was accused of using his position to pass confidential information to help suppliers negotiate favorable contracts with Apple. He pleaded guilty to wire fraud, conspiracy and money laundering in a San Jose federal court, the U.S. Attorney’s office announced. He also agreed to forfeit about $2.28 million in money and property and a maximum prison term of 20 years.

    Apple, which has “zero tolerance” for dishonest behavior inside or outside the company, launched an internal investigation last year and found an exchange of emails between Devine and the Asian suppliers, according to a civil lawsuit the company filed against Devine.

    Back in August of last year, Devine initially pleaded not guilty to the accusations but Apple filed a separate civil law suit against Paul Devine, accusing him of receiving more than $1 million in payments and bribes over multiple years from companies that were supplying iPhone and iPod accessories.

    Perhaps the most convincing piece of evidence is the Excel spreadsheet found on Devine’s personal email accounts detailing the profits that were being made from his kickbacks.