Paul Shin Devine, described as a “manager” at Apple by the New York Times, has been hit from all sides for a kickback scheme in which he netted over $1 million. The story is infuriatingly vague so far; the documents that lay out the specifics of the crime weren’t immediately available.
What we do know is that Devine was charged with wire fraud, money laundering, and taking kickbacks, and that Apple has subsequently filed a civil suit against him. Apparently Devine was taking money from makers of third-party iPhone and iPod accessories in Asia in exchange for confidential information. That information is said to have helped the third-party manufacturers negotiate better deals with Apple.
The payments, totaling over $1 million, were funneled into bank accounts registered to both Devine and his wife, and were laundered through a front company.
Apple actually discovered the fraud, thanks largely to a surprisingly dumb gaffe from Devine–he was using his company laptop to send emails (using Hotmail and Gmail), which of course Apple has unlimited access to. Apple launched an internal investigation and found a number of suspicious, lightly coded emails relating to his crimes.
Devine has been indicted and will appear in court tomorrow afternoon.DN