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Apple man arrested over kickbacks

Apple man arrested over kickbacks

Apple's Paul Devine has been arrested over a kickback scheme that saw him pocket $1 million.

It's not going well for Apple: despite enjoying continued success with the iPad slate, problems keep stacking up for the company - with the most recent issue being the investigation of the company's product manager Paul Shin Devine amid accusations of kickbacks from Asian suppliers.

According to BusinessInsider, Devine leaked confidential corporate secrets to select Asian suppliers - the sort of thing that would prove useful if you wanted to bid on a contract with the company, for example, or be the first to market with accessories for a new design of iPhone - in exchange for sizable cash bribes.

Despite keeping the individual amounts low - and funneling them through his wife's bank account - Devine and his accomplice Andrew Ang are thought to have pocketed around $1 million from the scheme over a period of several years, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

The scam came to light when Apple - which is bringing a civil suit against Devine as well as the criminal case which has seen the manager arrested by US Federal Marshals - found evidence in Devine's personal e-mail accounts regarding the payments.

While the case is embarrassing for Apple in general - and will leave its other Asian suppliers fuming - it comes at an awkward time for the company: The Economic Times reports that social media analyst BrandWatch has found that the Apple brand is the one most commonly associated with the Twitter hashtag "#fail," making it - the group claims - the most criticised brand on the microblogging service, ahead of Facebook, Nokia, and the BBC.

While Apple certainly has its fans - and, as the iPad has shown, is capable of making some fantastically successful products - it looks like the company needs to do a little house-cleaning if it wants to salvage its overall reputation.

Are you surprised that a supposedly mid-level manager was able to misappropriate $1 million without anyone noticing, or is this merely the sort of thing that could happen at any company? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

16 Comments

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eddtox 16th August 2010, 12:23 Quote
Could, (and most likely does) happen at any company, especially one as large and successful as apple. Individuals are just that, and they make their own judgement calls about their behaviour. It's unfortunate, but I don't think it's apple's fault.
Krikkit 16th August 2010, 12:27 Quote
This kind of thing happens at many companies, the temptations are just too great.

That's before you even get to corporate-sponsored dirty dealings, remember the billion dollar Samsung slush fund? Hmm.
leveller 16th August 2010, 12:54 Quote
It's a shame this happened, or happens anywhere. The best supplier at the best price needs to win the contracts for all the right reasons.
DXR_13KE 16th August 2010, 13:11 Quote
Only 1 million?
Repr 16th August 2010, 13:34 Quote
Just a million over several years. thats not a lot considering the major hypes apple has created the last few rounds of phones, mp3 players and the Ipad.

And yea, i think this isnt all that special i think. However, apple is rather well-known for its extremely rigid security, so that does surprise me a little
Jim 16th August 2010, 13:42 Quote
Quote:
Apple found evidence in Devine's personal e-mail accounts

Lovely.
liratheal 16th August 2010, 13:43 Quote
Not even a remote surprise. The most surprising thing is the amount, being as low as it is, and even that is unsurprising. To a mid-level manager type, that's probably an insane amount of money, so for him to have slid that around without drawing attention, well. Perfectly reasonable.

More interesting to me, is how Apple found evidence in his personal email account..
sear 16th August 2010, 15:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by liratheal
More interesting to me, is how Apple found evidence in his personal email account..
People are stupid? You'd have to be in order to keep evidence of illegal dealings in there.
scarrmrcc 16th August 2010, 15:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by liratheal
More interesting to me, is how Apple found evidence in his personal email account..

why would that be interesting? ANYTHING you do on a company owned computer (laptop, PC, phone, etc..) is theirs to legally look at. open your personal email at work, and BAM they are allowed to look at it. check your gmail, or get a text with a company supplied phone, BOOM they are privy to it. well, at least that is how it works here in the states: you use the company's stuff, they get to see what you are doing with their stuff. you want privacy? use your own stuff.
B1GBUD 16th August 2010, 15:31 Quote
LOL... maybe he should have gone for a Blackberry instead to keep is grubbing dealings out from Apples radar
Jim 16th August 2010, 18:56 Quote
I'd made the (potentially wrong) assumption that he wasn't that stupid.
SaNdCrAwLeR 16th August 2010, 19:31 Quote
only way they'll get decent support for their hardware (mac-wise) is if they finally decide to sell those things for a more reasonable 1.5-2x price...
cuz paying 5 times the cost it takes to build a much better PC than what you're actually getting is seriously... only for fools...
docodine 16th August 2010, 20:51 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DXR_13KE
Only 1 million?

That's what I was thinking..
eddtox 16th August 2010, 22:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SaNdCrAwLeR
only way they'll get decent support for their hardware (mac-wise) is if they finally decide to sell those things for a more reasonable 1.5-2x price...
cuz paying 5 times the cost it takes to build a much better PC than what you're actually getting is seriously... only for fools...

I love a bit of apple-bashing as much as the next guy, but really, your statement bears little relevance to the topic being discussed in this particular thread.

PS. LOVE your avatar, CardJoe :)
dark_avenger 17th August 2010, 02:12 Quote
Using his wife's bank account and his own personal email?
Guy deserves to be caught...
Krayzie_B.o.n.e. 17th August 2010, 10:50 Quote
Ah yes "Kick Backs" hmmm smells like really good business.

What a Dumb ass using your E-mail and a bank account.

Take payment in cold hard cash and stuff your mattress with it and make all arrangements at a strip club and not over the phone or e-mail you stooge.

After he gets convicted then we will here about him getting his bonus, pension, and golden parachute.
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