Apple Supply Manager Pleads Guilty in Kickback Case

Paul Shin Devine, a former mid level global supply manager at Apple, has plead guilty in fraud charges related to selling confidential product information to Asian iPhone and iPod parts suppliers. He was found guilty on Monday of wire fraud, money laundering, and conspiracy, and agreed to give up some US$2.28 million in property and money.

Mr. Devine had been charged with 23 criminal counts in U.S. Federal Court in San Jose, California. At the time Apple estimated he had received over a million dollars in bribes and kickbacks.

Paul Shin Devine. He's guilty.Paul Shin Devine pleads guilty to selling Apple product secrets

Mr. Devine’s legal headaches started in August 2010 when he was arrested for suspicion of selling secrets about upcoming Apple products to parts suppliers. Apple had collected email correspondence between Mr. Devine and third parties related to his information sales deals that were used as evidence in both civil and criminal cases against him.

When Mr. Devine was first arrested, Apple spokesman Steve Dowling commented, “We have zero tolerance for dishonest behavior inside or outside the company.”

Mr. Devine allegedly used several on-shore and off-shore bank accounts, including accounts set up in his wife’s name, to funnel the money for use by both him and a Singapore-based co-conspirator who helped arrange the deals. Authorities eventually found over $150,000 hidden in shoeboxes throughout his house and identified several overseas bank accounts holding what Department of Justice Attorney Michelle Kane said was “A significant amount of money.”

Despite his criminal activities and subsequent guilty plea, Mr. Devine’s attorney, Raphael Goldman, said he’s actually a good guy, according to Reuters. “Mr. Devine is a good man who made a mistake,” he said. “And now he’s trying to make amends.”

Mr. Devine is scheduled for sentencing on June 6 where he could face up to 20 years in prison.