SAN JOSE, Calif. (CN) – Apple employee Paul Shin Devine made his first court appearance Monday after he was indicted on charges that he accepted $2.5 million in kickbacks from Apple parts manufacturers in Singapore, Taiwan, China and South Korea in exchange for confidential information that would help them negotiate better contracts with Apple.
According to the indictment, the 37-year-old global supply manager launched the scheme in 2007 with alleged co-conspirator Andrew Ang, 35, of Singapore, with whom he split the kickback money.
Devine began working for Apple in 2005 and was responsible for selecting suppliers of enclosure materials for Apple’s iPhone and iPod headsets.
Devine allegedly told suppliers via email to wire kickback money to overseas bank accounts and accounts he had opened in his wife’s name, and “sought to prevent the discovery of his kickback scheme by using certain code words that could not attract attention if seen by Apple employees.”
In correspondence with Ang, the indictment states, Devine used the code word “sample.”
If convicted, Devine faces up to 50 years in prison and $1 million in fines for alleged wire fraud, conspiracy and money laundering.
The government also seeks disgorgement of profits from the scheme, according to a statement released by the Department of Justice.