Saturday, August 14, 2010

Teen bribes and prototypes in bars? Forget that. This is serious.

Over the past few months, those of us in the blogosphere (and I include myself in this number) have fallen all over ourselves to over-analyze the story of the teen reporter at an online service who solicited an Apple computer as a bribe; or the story of the guy who left an Apple prototype in a bar, which ended up in a police raid on another online reporter's home office. These stories were represented as the end of the world as we know it, and we didn't feel fine about them (although we felt just fine talking about them).

But Robert Diana has shared a Next Web story that is much more serious than the other two tales. The Next Web got its information from the San Jose Mercury News:

A midlevel Apple manager was arrested Friday and accused of accepting more than $1 million in kickbacks from half a dozen Asian suppliers of iPhone and iPod accessories in a federal indictment unsealed and a separate civil suit.

Paul Shin Devine, a global supply manager, and Andrew Ang, of Singapore, were named in a 23-count federal grand jury indictment for wire fraud, money laundering and kickbacks....

The alleged scheme used an elaborate chain of U.S. and foreign bank accounts and one front company to receive payments, the indictment said, and code words like "sample" were used to refer to the payments so that Apple co-workers wouldn't become suspicious.

Devine, 37, of Sunnyvale, is being held by the U.S. Marshals Service, according to the Internal Revenue Service. He could not be reached for comment. IRS Agent Arlette Lee declined to comment on Ang's whereabouts.

OK, it's one thing to get Michael Arrington mad at you, and it's another thing to have a local police unit raid your home...but when you have the IRS refusing to comment on where you've been stashed, that's serious.
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