Paul Shin Devine gets a Year in Jail, $4.5M Fine for Leaking Apple Secrets

Paul Shin Devine, the former mid-level Apple manager who took over a million dollars in kickbacks for leaking confidential company plans to Asian parts suppliers, has been sentenced to a year in prison and must repay $4.5 million. He was arrested in 2010 and ultimately plead guilty to federal conspiracy, money laundering, and wire fraud charges.

Paul Shin Devine gets a year in jail, $4.5 million fine for selling Apple secrets to suppliersPaul Shin Devine gets a year in jail, $4.5 million fine for selling Apple secrets to parts suppliers

Mr. Devine worked for Apple as a global supply manager from 2005 until his scheme was uncovered in 2010. He was accused of taking money from iPhone and iPod parts suppliers in exchange for information they could use for stronger positions in contract negotiations.

He initially faced 23 counts including wire fraud and money laundering, along with his conspirator in Singapore, Andrew Ang. At the time of his arrest, an Apple spokesperson said, "We have zero tolerance for dishonest behavior inside or outside the company."

The scheme was uncovered by Apple thanks to cached email on a company-issued laptop Mr. Devine was using. Those messages included highly detailed information about the scheme, and showed that one company paid hime over a million dollars in a three year period.

Mr. Devine paid Mr. Ang between 15 and 20 percent from his kickbacks. Mr. Ang worked for Jin Li Mould Manufacturing, which happened to be an Apple supplier. He also received $6,000 a month as a consulting fee from Cresyn, a South Korea company that makes microphone, earphone, and digital camera modules.

The money Mr. Devine scored for the information he provided ended up in several offshore bank accounts, and investigators found shoeboxes loaded with cash in his home.

Uncovering Mr. Devines information network led to resignations from companies that had been giving him money, too. The chairman of JLJ, the parent company of Jin Li Mould Manufacturing, stepped down after the scheme was uncovered. Kaedar Electronics, another company linked to Mr. Devine, suspended a senior manager who claimed they weren't aware the money was a kickback.

As prosecutors moved forward with their case against Mr. Devine, he was ordered to give the court access to safe deposit boxes with money and other evidence. At the time, court documents showed he had over $950,000 spread across six bank accounts, plus a Porsche Cayenne.

In March 2011, he pled guilty and agreed to hand over $2.28 million in money and property. His attorney characterized him as "a good man who made a mistake, and now he’s trying to make amends."

Mr. Devine was facing up to 20 years in prison, so getting off with a $4.5 million bill and a year behind bars looks like a pretty good deal. There isn't any word on exactly why it took from 2011 until the end of 2014 for his sentencing to conclude.

[Thanks to AP for the heads up]