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Apple executive Paul Devine pleads guilty in kickback scheme

Former Apple executive Paul Devine has pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of money laundering, conspiracy, and wire fraud resulting from a kickback scheme in which Devine divulged confidential Apple product information to suppliers. Devine’s scheme ran from 2005 to 2010; he would offer Apple suppliers details of Apple’s forthcoming product roadmaps, specifications, and pricing goals, and the companies would use that information in order to craft bids for contracts with Apple, knowing where they had the Cupertino company over a barrel and where they didn’t. Devine would receive payments for the info, then transfer the money between a number of bank accounts (including many overseas) to obscure evidence of his activities.

Most of the companies Devine is accused of selling information to have been described as being located in China, Singapore, Taiwan, and South Korea.

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In all, Devine was charged with one count of wire fraud conspiracy, one count of engaging in transactions with criminally-derived proceeds, six counts of money laundering, and fifteen counts of wire fraud. Under his plea agreement, Devine is admiting to one count of each violation; he faces up to 20 years in prison and several hundred thousand dollars in fines. Devine has admitted to pocketing just over $2.4 million from his activities; he has forfeited money and property worth almost $2.28 million to the court and has agreed to pay restitution. Devine is currently on pre-trial release; sentencing is scheduled for June 6.

Devine was arrested back in August 2010, at which time he plead not guilty to the charges. At the time, reports claimed Devine had over $150,000 in cash stored in shoeboxes around his home.

Apple has filed a separate civil case against Devine, which is on hold pending the outcome of the criminal case.

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