Former Apple Manager Pleads Guilty In Kickback Scheme

Former Apple Manager Pleads Guilty In Kickback Scheme

Former Apple manager Paul Devine pleaded guilty in federal court in San Jose on Monday to a massive kickback scheme involving Apple’s supply chain.

Devine will forfeit $2.25 million in proceeds and property, the U.S. Attorney said.

Devine provided suppliers with details of Apple’s product roadmap and pricing targets in exchange for hefty kickbacks. When he was busted, feds found about $150,000 in shoeboxes under his bed and more money in foreign accounts and safe deposit boxes.

Devine originally pleaded not-guilty but later agreed to protect Apple’s trade secrets if the case came to court. That move was seen as a way to get a favorable plea bargain. Devine had faced 23 counts of wire fraud and money laundering. He plead guilty to one count of each statutory violation.

He awaits sentencing on June 6. He could face up to 20 years in jail, the U.S Attorney said.

Full press release below:

FORMER APPLE EMPLOYEE PLEADS GUILTY IN KICKBACK SCHEME

Agrees to Forfeit More Than $2.25 Million in Proceeds of Fraud

SAN JOSE, Calif. – Paul Devine pleaded guilty in federal court in San Jose today to wire fraud, conspiracy and money laundering, United States Attorney Melinda Haag announced.

In pleading guilty, Devine admitted to engaging in a scheme to defraud Apple, Inc., of its money or property and its right to his honest services while he was employed with the company from 2005 through 2010. In addition, Devine admitted to transferring the proceeds of the wire fraud between various bank accounts in the U.S. and overseas in order to conceal the nature, location, source, ownership and control of the proceeds; and to conducting financial transactions with criminally-derived property worth more than $10,000.

According to court documents, the fraudulent scheme involved Devine transmitting Apple’s confidential information, such as product forecasts, roadmaps, pricing targets, product specifications, and data obtained from Apple’s business partners, to suppliers and manufacturers of Apple parts. In return, the suppliers and manufacturers paid Devine kickbacks, including payments determined as a percentage of the business they did with Apple. The scheme enabled the suppliers and manufacturers to, among other things, negotiate more favorable contracts with Apple than they would have been able to obtain without the confidential information. As part of the plea agreement, Devine admitted that the loss attributable to his offenses was $2,409,000.

The investigation began in April 2010, when Apple found evidence of the kickback scheme on Devine’s Apple-owned laptop. Devine, 38, of Sunnyvale, Calif., was indicted by a federal Grand Jury on Aug. 11, 2010. He was charged with fifteen counts of wire fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1343 and 1346, one count of wire fraud conspiracy in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1349, six counts of money laundering in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1956, and one count of engaging in transactions with criminally-derived proceeds in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1957. Under the plea agreement, Devine pled guilty to one count of each statutory violation.

Devine is currently on pretrial release. Sentencing of Devine is scheduled for June 6, 2011, before Judge James Ware in San Jose. The maximum statutory penalty for each count in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1343, 1346, or 1349 is 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000; for each count in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1956 it is 20 years in prison and a fine of $500,000 or twice the value of the property involved; and the count in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1957 it is 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 or twice the value of the property involved. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.

As part of the plea, Devine agreed to pay restitution as ordered by the Court. He has also consented to the forfeiture of money and property worth approximately $2.28 million.

Michelle J. Kane is the Assistant U.S. Attorney who is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Lauri Gomez. The prosecution is the result of an four-month investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigations.

Further Information:

Case #: CR 10-00603 JW

A copy of this press release may be found on the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s website at www.usdoj.gov/usao/can.

Electronic court filings and further procedural and docket information are available athttps://ecf.cand.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.pl.

Judges’ calendars with schedules for upcoming court hearings can be viewed on the court’s website atwww.cand.uscourts.gov.

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  • V10LETBLUES

    Ok, I cringe while i say it. But I’ll say it anyway. Even Apple managers have to eat.

  • Kneebite

    Why are you guys using that picture? That’s not Paul Devine. Lame that the other tech blogs are reposting that picture as if it is.

  • Alex

    Hey Leander how about correcting the picture ?

    Like the Kneebite said, that is not Paul Shin Devine , who happens to be 36 year old Asian male.

    http://pulse2.com/2010/08/15/a

  • Download

    Interesting and informative post
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About the author

Leander KahneyLeander Kahney is the editor and publisher of Cult of Mac. He is the NYT bestselling author of Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple's Greatest Products; Inside Steve’s Brain; Cult of Mac; and Cult of iPod. Leander has written for Wired, MacWeek, Scientific American, and The Guardian in London. Follow Leander on Twitter @lkahney and Facebook.

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