An Apple executive was arrested last Friday and charged with wire fraud and conspiracy for providing confidential Apple information to suppliers and receiving millions of dollars in kickbacks in return.
A grand jury charged Apples global supply manager, Paul Shin Devine, who was responsible for selecting suppliers of enclosure materials for headsets for the iPhone and iPod. According to Justice Department prosecutors, who carried out a joint investigation with the IRSs Criminal Investigation division and the FBI, Devine allegedly transmitted confidential internal Apple information to suppliers in China, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan. In return, the suppliers agreed to pay him kickbacks, including payments based on a percentage of the business they did with Apple.
Devine allegedly then shared a portion of the kickbacks with Andrew Ang of Singapore, an agent who worked for several parts suppliers and was also charged in the scheme. Since 2007, the pair allegedly received over $2.5 million in kickbacks. Devine allegedly used bank accounts in several foreign countries to receive kickback payments and a business bank account in the U.S. to launder the wire fraud proceeds.
Increasingly, the IRS has been involved in international law enforcement cases, stretching out to Asia and other parts of the world as it chases down lost tax dollars, whether they originate in kickbacks or iPod earbud shakedowns.