Paul Devine, A global supply manager at Apple has been arrested on criminal fraud charges. Devine is also being being sued by Apple for allegedly taking more than $1 million in bribes from component suppliers. Devine, who has worked for Apple since July 2005 had responsibility for managing relationships with suppliers to procure components for iPod music players and related accessories.
Devine was arrested last Friday, following a joint investigation by the Internal Revenue Service and the FBI. Apple, has began its own inquiries in April this year, filed a civil suit against Devine the same day (13 August) The company alleges Devine’s targeted suppliers were able to negotiate offers that were more favourable to the vendors than to Apple. In court papers the company says: “Devine’s actions, which were concealed from Apple for several years, undermined Apple’s procurement process.”
Devine appeared in the US District Court for the Northern District of California in San Jose yesterday (Monday, 16 August) and pleaded not guilty to the charges against him. Apple alleges that he gave supplier firms confidential information “to help them secure lucrative supply agreements with Apple or otherwise benefit their business interests” In civil court papers, Apple accused Devine of “abusing his position, violating Apple policies and breaking the law by stealing Apple’s proprietary, trade secret and other confidential information and converting it to his own benefit”.