Apple staff allegedly sold secrets worth $1m
Selling the upper hand
Asian companies negotiating contracts with Apple allegedly paid more than $1m in kickbacks to an Apple manager in exchange for confidential information about what Cupertino would be buying.
That's according to a suit filed by Apple against Paul Shin Devine, until now a global supply manager at Apple. The suit follows his indictment for wire fraud and money laundering, among other things, as reported by the San Jose Mercury News. Devine was allegedly paid the money in exchange for information about the iPhone and iPod, which gave the companies the upper hand in negotiations with Apple.
We don't know exactly what that information was - the court filing doesn't include it - but those said to have paid for it obviously thought it was worth the money. Negotiators would be keen to know information about upcoming models, competing bids and how much Apple expected to pay for items. Such information would be extremely valuable on the negotiating table.
The Wall Street Journal names three of the companies involved as Kaedar Electronics Co, Cresyn Co and Jin Li Mould Manufacturing Pte, of China, South Korea and Singapore respectively.
The source of the money allegedly was obfuscated with the aid of one Andrew Ang, who is named in the indictment as a confederate of Devine and used to work for Jin Li. According to the filing Ang and Devine worked together to route money around the world in an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to hide its source. Devine is now in the custody of the US Marshals Service, while Ang's location isn't known.
Bloomberg got a statement out of Cresyn Co explaining that the company had paid an Apple employee for consultancy services, but that this was "limited to the trends in the US market" and that the firm "neither requested nor received any information regarding technologies".
Even if true it's still dodgy ground for an Apple employee to be freelancing in that capacity, and Apple certainly doesn't seem to think the argument holds water, as evidenced by Cupertino filing its own suit directly against Paul Devine for that $1m. ®
Sounds like this guy
was a bad Apple
Business as usual for the Far East
'Tea' money is common in the Far.Southeast Asian economies, called bribes, kickbacks, etc. in the West.
If this guy was Singapore based, as some reports would have it, he will likely be in deep do-do as Singapore likes to be known as a squeaky clean, corruption free society which, of course, is not true.
People might remember the Siemens, Pirelli, BICC, Tomen and Marubeni scandal where they kicked back USD$9-million+ to CHOY, Hon-Tim the deputy chair of the Public Utility Board.
No doubt this will rumble on for some time and presents Apple with a problem since only a few companies are capable of meeting their, and others, exacting requirements for smart-phone production.
So many missed points (Bullseyed)
First off, an American pays taxes on income regardless of where they are located. When it gets truly entertaining is when multiple countries want to levy taxes because you are a citizen one place, and residing in another... and I promise you that the kickbacks received are not a 'gift', the company paying is expensing them just like compensation.
With regards to the highly unethical activity of supplying a vendor with insider information, the Apple employee had a clear fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of Apple in dealing with Vendors and competitors. Given that he willfully failed that responsibility, Apple would be able to pursue him for all kickbacks received (especially since there was likely a dual employment clause in his employment contract), and may even be able to persue compensation for salary paid when he was no longer acting as an agent of Apple.
'business is business' is something you say when you are in the mafia. double faced employees working against their employer for personal gain is not business, it is fraud.
You sir are an idiot.
Read the article before posting. It helps.
@terms of employment
they pay you to work certain hours but they still own anything you invent in your own time, I'd guess that was what the OP was referring to. Sorry forgot the !