Skip to main content

Apple Manager Arrested in Kickback Scheme

Paul Shin Devine, a mid-level global supply manager at Apple Inc., was arrested Friday on accusations he had accepted more than $1 million in kickbacks from Asian suppliers selling parts for Apple’s iPod and iPhone produce lines. The alleged scheme involved Devine disclosing confidential supplier information to Andrew Ang of Singapore—also named in the indictment. The information included internal pricing targets, and enabled Asian suppliers to negotiate favorable parts and supply deals with Apple. In exchange, the companies paid Devine, who split the money with Ang. A series of U.S. and foreign bank accounts and a front company to receive and filter the payments.

The half-dozen companies involved in the scheme are not named in the indictment. The information came to light in an unsealed federal indictment and a separate civil lawsuit filed by Apple.

“Apple is committed to the highest ethical standards in the way we do business,” said Apple spokesman Steve Dowling, in a statement. “We have zero tolerance for dishonest behavior inside or outside the company.”

In addition to filtering payments through a series of bank accounts and a front company, Devine is also alleged to have picked up kickback payments in person as he travelled throughout Asia. The companies involved are described as being located in Taiwan, South Korea, China, and Singapore.

In Apple’s civil suit against Devine, the company claims the kickback scheme had been operating for several years. Apple did not reveal how it uncovered the alleged scheme, but the company’s civil suit includes email excerpts and a $6,000-per-month “consulting services agreement” with a component manufacturer to disclose Apple product plans and sales forecasts.

Devine is scheduled to appear in a San Jose court today.

Editors' Recommendations

Geoff Duncan
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Geoff Duncan writes, programs, edits, plays music, and delights in making software misbehave. He's probably the only member…
Apple’s iOS 15.3 update fixes critical Safari security bug
iPhone showing Home Screen with widgets resting on soft white cloth background.

Apple has just released iOS 15.3, and while this latest update doesn’t add any significant new features, it addresses at least one critical security flaw. Earlier this month, software engineer Martin Bajanik of FingerprintJS found a serious vulnerability in Safari 15, the browser included in iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, that could leak browsing history information and even credentials from online services that a person is using, such as Google, YouTube, Amazon, and sites using WordPress.

As Bajanik explains, many websites use an API called IndexedDB to request that browsers like Safari and Chrome store information in a local database on a person’s device. Under normal circumstances, a given website should only be able to request information about the databases that it created — any others should be invisible to it.

Read more
Apple’s iPhone 14 may be moving to eSIM, but not all at once
Person holding an iPhone showing Home Screen with multiple icons.

Rumors have been swirling lately that Apple is planning to ditch the physical SIM card on upcoming iPhone models — a transition that could happen as soon as this fall, when we’re expecting to see the iPhone 14 released.

However, while many analysts believe that such a move is inevitable, most agree that it’s probably not going to happen all at once. There are simply too many moving parts in the mobile industry for Apple to make a unilateral decision and move its entire series to eSIM.

Read more
2023 iPhone may ditch Samsung displays for Chinese screens
Man using an iPhone 13 Pro.

Ever since Apple made the switch to OLED panels with the iPhone X series in 2017, it has relied on Samsung to source a majority of these panels. Samsung was an obvious choice for Apple for the sole reason that it was (and continues to be) the world's largest manufacturer of OLED panels, with LG coming in a distant second.

This changed in 2020 when Apple signed up a little-known Chinese company called BOE to make displays for its lower-tier iPhone 12. While Samsung and LG continue to supply Apple with OLED panels, 2023 may finally see BOE increase the number of displays it makes for Apple. It is also likely to meet the stringent quality standards set by Apple so its screens can end up on the future top-tier iPhone 15 Pro model.
A rocky start

Read more