Apple is still investigating an alleged kickback scheme by a midlevel manager, who is due in court today for a bail hearing, but Singapore's anti-corruption department seems to be leaving the case so far to U.S. authorities.
Apple may have launched an investigation into an internal manager's alleged
kickback scheme with Asian suppliers, but Singapore's
Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) is declining to say whether it
will investigate the matter on its own.
The Apple manager accused of accepting bribes and kickbacks, Paul Shin
Devine, will enter court for a bail hearing at 1:30
p.m. PDT. The federal grand jury indictment, whose 23 counts
included wire fraud and money laundering, also named Andrew Ang, an
Apple-supplier employee whose current whereabouts are unknown.
"CPIB is unable to comment on the case against Paul Shin Devine and
Andrew Ang as it is currently handled by the U.S. authorities," CPIB
spokesperson Tan Chai Ying e-mailed
in response to questions from IDG News Service. "CPIB will look into
all information received in regard to corruption offences and take necessary
action against the parties involved if evidence is found."
While the six Asian suppliers went unnamed in the indictment, three have
come forward in recent days to either protest their innocence or claim they've
launched investigations of their own. One of the latter, JLJ Holdings, is based
The other two are South Korea-based Cresyn, which acknowledged a relationship
with Devine but said all interactions were strictly above board, and Pegatron,
whose former acquisition Kaedar was named in the indictment as a kickback
"Devine approached us first and offered to give us business consulting
to help advance into the U.S.
market," an unnamed official at Cresyn told Reuters on Aug. 17. "We
accepted his offer and received general information about U.S.
markets, and in return we offered him a small consulting fee. But this was
based on a legal contract we made with him in 2007."
According to the federal indictment, Devine
offered six unnamed Asian suppliers confidential information on Apple's
purchasing plans for product components. In exchange, he allegedly received
more than $1 million in bribes and kickbacks, via a network of U.S.
and offshore bank accounts.
Apple's spectacular success with many of its product lines, including the
iPad, has represented a potential windfall for suppliers who can fulfill orders
for components. However, existing
suppliers have also found themselves under enormous pressure to deliver those
components in the face of massive demand. For the third quarter of fiscal
2010, Apple reported sales of 3.27 million iPads, along with 3.47 million Macs,
8.4 million iPhones and 9.41 million iPods.
Nicholas Kolakowski is a staff editor at eWEEK, covering Microsoft and other companies in the enterprise space, as well as evolving technology such as tablet PCs. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, Playboy, WebMD, AARP the Magazine, AutoWeek, Washington City Paper, Trader Monthly, and Private Air. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.