Asians must have felt like God or some other supernatural being must love them so much for them to have the chance to experience the newest and latest Apple gadgets and accessories even before the official announcement that it’s already out in Asia. But who would have guessed that this is impossible if not for an inside “help” from Apple itself.
Paul Shin Devine, Apple’s Global Supply Officer, was recently arrested for allegedly receiving kickbacks amounting to more or less $1 Million from several Asian suppliers of Apple products such as iPod, iPhone and iPad accessories. Devine, 32, reportedly had under the table deals with parts suppliers in various Asian countries including China, Taiwan, South Korea, and Singapore.
It is believed that Devine obtained confidential information using his position at Apple. He then leaked those information to Asian suppliers of Apple products, including Andrew Ang of Singapore. Those data gave the ability to the suppliers to negotiate contracts with Apple, giving them an edge when bidding for Apple’s business. As “payment,” the suppliers gave Devine and Ang kickbacks. The leaked information were found at Devine’s personal email.
The two have been indicted on 23 counts federal grand jury for wire fraud, money laundering and bribe. Apple has also filed a separate civil suit against Devine, reporting that he actually acquired more than $1 Million over several years of dishonesty and disloyalty.
The suspected plot used an intricate chain of U.S and foreign bank accounts and a front company to route the kickbacks. According to San Jose Mercury News, code words such as “sample” were used to refer to the kickback so that Devine’s Apple co-workers would not be suspicious in any way.
Now this should explain why after several years of secrecy, Apple accessories such as camera-ready iPod cases began leaking out. Imitation Apple gadgets and accessories could be assumed to have gained their “style and concept” from the information leaked by Devine. More or less, given that Devine has been plotting against Apple for several years already, it connects with the fact that Apple products have been imitated over and over again—and so fast for that matter—since the worldwide iPod and iPhone hype.
The moral of this? All good things come to an end—at least for the Asian suppliers and for Devine, as well as for Apple imitations and leaked products’ patrons. Devine is currently under the custody of the U.S. Marshals and was scheduled to appear in the U.S. District Court of San Jose yesterday, August 16, 2010.
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