April 18, 2024


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A former Apple employee owes $19 million to an elaborate fraud scheme

A former Apple employee owes $19 million to an elaborate fraud scheme

A former Apple employee is going to jail over a scheme to defraud the Bay Area tech giant of more than $17 million and has been ordered to pay back what he stole.

Dhirendra Prasad received imprisonment for three years sentence Wed in federal court post he pleads Guilty of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, as well as of conspiracy to defraud the United States. A San Jose judge also ordered Prasad to forfeit millions of dollars in assets and recover payments: $17,398,104 to Apple and $1,872,579 to the Internal Revenue Service.

Prasad, who lived in Mountain House, a small town on the western edge of San Joaquin County, said in his November affidavit agreement that he worked at Apple from 2008 until 2018, mostly as a parts buyer for the supply chain. for Apple – Works with vendors to source parts and services for the tech giant.

In 2011, Prasad began defrauding his employer, he said in his plea agreement. He used his role to make Apple pay for items and services the company would never receive, and defrauded the company by inflating invoices, stealing parts, and taking kickbacks. The schemes continued into 2018, and cost Apple more than $17 million.

Prasad names two of the conspirators, Robert Gary Hansen and Don M. Baker, both of whom ran vendor companies doing business with Apple. Each admitted involvement in the crimes, according to the US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California.

Baker was central to a 2013 scheme in which Prasad shipped motherboards belonging to Apple to Baker in Orange County. After Baker harvested components for the technology, Prasad asked Apple to purchase the harvested parts, the US Attorney’s Office said. When Baker billed Apple for its own devices, he and Prasad split the proceeds, according to the press release.

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In another scheme in 2016, Prasad arranged a shipment of Apple parts to the company owned by Hansen, who sold the parts back to Apple through Prasad. Once again, Apple paid and the conspirators split the proceeds.

The US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California wrote in a statement that Prasad “has been given substantial discretion to make independent decisions in favor of his employer.”

The statement continues: “Prasad betrayed that trust, abused his power to enrich himself at the expense of his employer – all while accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages from Apple in the form of salaries and bonuses.” “In addition, Prasad used his inside information regarding the company’s fraud detection techniques to design his criminal schemes to avoid detection.”

Prasad also admitted to making improper payments to his creditors and using a shell company to avoid paying taxes – the $1.8 million he now owes in compensation to the IRS.

The former Apple employee’s wire fraud and fraud carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, but the judge chose to sentence him to three years in prison, three years of supervised release after his term, forfeiture of assets and restitution payments. Apple did not respond to SFGATE’s request for comment.

Do you hear about anything going on at Apple or any other tech company? Contact technology reporter Stephen Council securely at [email protected] or Signal at 628-204-5452.