Apple Manager Charged with Taking Kickbacks

A federal indictment charged an Apple manager with accepting kickbacks in return for leaking secrets to Asian companies that supplied parts for the iPhone and iPod.

CHICAGO (Reuters) - A manager at Apple Inc has been charged in California with taking kickbacks he received after leaking corporate secrets to Asian companies that supplied iPhone and iPod accessories, court documents showed.

Paul Shin Devine, a global supply manager at technology company Apple since 2005, was accused by federal authorities of accepting kickbacks from six Asian companies. Authorities did not name the companies but said they were located in South Korea, China, Taiwan and Singapore.

Devine, 37, also faces a civil suit filed by Cupertino, California-based Apple, which accused him of receiving more than $1 million in payments and bribes over several years, the San Jose Mercury News reported.

Devine appeared in court on Friday in San Jose but no bail was set, according to court documents. He is scheduled to return to court on Monday.

Devine was charged in a federal grand jury indictment on Wednesday with 23 counts of wire fraud, money laundering, conspiracy and accepting kickbacks, court documents showed.

"Apple is committed to the highest ethical standards in the way we do business," Apple spokesman Steve Dowling said in a statement, according to the Mercury News. "We have zero tolerance for dishonest behavior inside or outside the company."

Devine allegedly used his position at Apple to obtain confidential information that he shared with Apple suppliers to help them negotiate favorable contracts with the company, according to the indictment.

In return, the suppliers paid Devine kickbacks, which he allegedly shared with Andrew Ang of Singapore. Ang was charged with three counts of wire fraud and conspiracy.

The investigation was conducted jointly by the FBI and Internal Revenue Service.

Apple and prosecutors were not immediately available to comment on Saturday.

(Reporting by Lisa Shumaker; additional reporting by Jeremy Pelofsky in Washington)

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