According to a news story from Reuters, a former Apple employee is facing U.S. prosecutors, charged with defrauding Apple to the sum of $10m via a number of schemes using Apple's own purchasing system.
The five charges against Dhirendra Prasad, 52, are that he exploited his “position of trust” in the supply chain to defraud Apple, which reported gross profits of $104.9 billion in 2020.
Filing on Friday in the federal court in San Jose, California, prosecutors allege that while Prasad negotiated with suppliers and entered invoices into the purchasing system, he was conspiring to take kickbacks, using false repair orders to steal parts, and paying for goods and services never received using Apple’s money.
The charges go on to allege tax evasion, wire and mail fraud, defrauding the United States, and money laundering, noting that Prasad was fired from Apple in December 2018 after a decade of employment.
Two owners of companies that did business with Apple through Prasad pleaded guilty to related charges in December. The alleged co-conspirators, identified by CBS San Francisco (opens in new tab) as Robert Gary Hansen and Don M. Baker, were charged in separate federal cases.
The Associated Press (opens in new tab) notes that fraud, money laundering and tax evasion each carry maximum sentences of 5 to 20 years, but sentencing guidelines and judges’ discretion mean most people convicted of fraud in federal court receive less than the maximum sentence.
Reuters attempted to contact Prasad for comment, but found that his number was disconnected. Prasad will appear at an arraignment hearing set for March 24, and prosecutors have also obtained a court order to seize millions of dollars of assets, including five properties, that they seek to keep as proceeds of crime. It remains unclear at the time of writing whether Prasad has engaged a lawyer.