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Alleged bad Appler pleads not guilty

Suppliers cough to consultancy fees

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Paul Shim Devine, a 37-year old Apple manager, has pleaded not guilty to wire fraud and conspiracy charges related to accusations that he took a series of bribes from suppliers to help them win work from the computer and phone maker.

Devine, paid over $100,000 plus options by Apple, denied taking $2.5m from six companies since he started work at Apple in 2005. He was responsible for sourcing parts for iPhone and iPod headphones.

Apple has been investigating since April, although it is unclear what first aroused their suspicions, and checked Devine's Apple-supplied laptop.

On it were found Hotmail and Gmail accounts arranging payments through 14 different bank accounts. One mail warned a supplier not to use his work email account because: "Apple IT team will randomly scan-mails for suspicious e-mail."

The indictment included another mail which requested payments in parts of less than $10,000 in order to avoid suspicion, SJMercuryNews reports.

The companies include Kaedar Electronics of China, Taiwanese Pegatron, an Asus spin-off, and Cresyn.

Headphone supplier Cresyn of South Korea said it had a standard consultancy agreement with Devine and paid him $6,000 a month for information about general market trends.

According to the FT, Cresyn said: “An Apple manager offered to provide us with business consulting to help us advance into the US market. So we signed a normal consulting contract, which was not illegal. We received general information about the US market but did not receive any technology-related information.”

Apple accuses him of passing on confidential information and product plans in order to give the companies an unfair advantage when bidding for contracts.

The indictment also names Andrew Ang of Singapore, formerly employed by Jin Li Mould Manufacturing. ®

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