Former Apple employee Paul Devine was convicted for his role in accepting kickbacks from Asian parts suppliers. Before his arrest, Devine worked as global supply manager for Apple from 2005 until 2010. During his time with the company, Devine would provide Asian part manufactures with internal, confidential information about upcoming Apple products, including the iPhone and the iPod, in exchange for cash and gifts. These unnamed parts suppliers would then use this information to boost their chances to win a lucrative supply deal with Apple.
The case against this rogue employee was based on coded email messages between the defendant and select Asian part suppliers who would send “samples”, aka money, to Devine in return for inside information. Devine is accused of accepting over $1 million dollars from these Asian companies and using bank accounts both in his name and his wife’s to hide the money. When his house was raided, investigators reportedly found $150,000 stashed in shoe boxes.
Devine pleaded guilty to wire fraud, money laundering and conspiracy and is schedule for sentencing on June 6th. The ex-Apple employee agreed to give up $2.28 million in property and cash and faces a whopping 20 years in prison for the wire fraud and money laundering charges. This lengthy prison term may be reduced pending the judge’s decision. Devine has reportedly worked with investigators and his attorney paints a sympathetic picture of his client, “Mr. Devine is a good man who made a mistake, and now he’s trying to make amends.” Devine also faces a civil trial which has been placed on hold while the criminal trial is still in progress.