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  • 08.13.10

Apple Manager Fired, Indicted for Million-Dollar Kickback Scheme

An Apple employee has been both indicted by a federal grand jury and hit with a civil suit from Apple itself for a scheme in which he accepted more than $1 million for passing confidential information to other companies.

iPhone back

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.

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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.

Apple is involved in a few other suits, mostly with other smartphone makers like HTC and Nokia, but this is the first internal lawsuit at the company I can remember.

Devine has been indicted and will appear in court tomorrow afternoon.

About the author

Dan Nosowitz is a freelance writer and editor who has written for Popular Science, The Awl, Gizmodo, Fast Company, BuzzFeed, and elsewhere. He holds an undergraduate degree from McGill University and currently lives in Brooklyn, because he has a beard and glasses and that's the law.

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