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Monday, August 16, 2010

Paul Shin Devine, Apple Manager, Busted in Kickback Scheme: Read Indictment Here

Posted By on Mon, Aug 16, 2010 at 9:55 AM

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As SF Weekly and others reported earlier, a mid-level Apple manager has been arrested for allegedly spilling company secrets in exchange for kickbacks from Asian firms.

SF Weekly has obtained the 23-count, 14-page indictment against Paul Shin Devine and you can read it right here.

Here are some highlights:

The indictment of 37-year-old Sunnyvale resident Devine and Andrew Ang of Singapore was opened in San Jose District Court on Aug. 11 and unsealed on Aug. 13 (as is noted in pen; the stamped words "sealed by order of the court" have been crossed out). Counts one through 15 deal with wire fraud; No. 16 is wire fraud conspiracy; 17 through 22 are money laundering; and No. 23 is "monetary transactions with criminally derived property."

As a "global supply manager" for Apple, Devine was privy to confidential knowledge such as product forecasts, development plans, and pricing and production specifications. His specific job was "selecting suppliers of enclosure materials" for iPod and iPhone headsets and communicating directly with the companies that produce these parts. These firms were located in China, Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore. The indictment does not name the five companies with which Devine purportedly conspired to defraud Apple and enrich himself.

Devine and Ang's scheme started no later than February of 2007, according to prosecutors. "The gist of the scheme was that Devine used his position at Apple to obtain confidential Apple information, which he then transmitted to suppliers and manufacturers of Apple parts, including Ang. In return, the suppliers and manufacturers agreed to pay Devine kickbacks, including payments determined as a percentage of the business they did with Apple. Devine shared a portion of these kickbacks with Ang."

The Apple manager's loot was allegedly paid via wire transfers into a bank account opened in his wife's name. Devine also purportedly opened several bank accounts in Asian countries, also in his wife's name. His Asian partners were supposedly told to wire the payments there. The indictment also claims Devine collected his kickbacks in person, while he traveled throughout Asia on Apple business.

Devine also used his personal company, CPK Engineering, as a front, the indictment claims. In order to cover his tracks, he used code words that would not raise fellow Apple employees' eyebrows: The term "sample" was the preferred nomenclature for a kickback in his correspondence with Ang, for example.

This is clear because the Feds have obtained a cavalcade of e-mails between Devine, Ang, and the Asian companies containing leaked confidential data and discussing the scheduling of alleged kickback payments. Investigators also included hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of wire transfers to accounts Devine is accused of controlling. The Apple manager is also accused of shuffling around his own money in a criminal manner: Feds charge him with moving nearly $547,000 "derived from a specific unlawful activity" from one J.P. Morgan Chase account to another.

He is being held without bail.

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Bio:
Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.

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