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Businesses Crime Iphone Apple

Apple Manager Arrested In Kickback Scheme 218

Posted by timothy
from the market-distortion-field dept.
pickens writes "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. 'Apple is committed to the highest ethical standards in the way we do business,' Apple spokesman Steve Dowling said in a statement. 'We have zero tolerance for dishonest behavior inside or outside the company.' The alleged scheme used an elaborate chain of US 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."
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Apple Manager Arrested In Kickback Scheme

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  • Wow (Score:2, Interesting)

    by MichaelSmith (789609) on Saturday August 14, 2010 @10:58PM (#33254568) Homepage Journal

    I am amazed (and pleased) that apple care about this. In most places I have worked this is either accepted or actively encouraged. When I worked for Vic Roads [vic.gov.au] the CEO signed a big vehicle fleet outsourcing deal, then retired and jumped straight into a job with the new operator. The general feeling was "meh".

  • by Ilgaz (86384) on Saturday August 14, 2010 @11:29PM (#33254718) Homepage

    For me, this explains the white iPhone mystery. It wasn't about the "perfect white tone", it was connected to this guy (IMHO who is doomed) and material manufacturers. I always wondered how Apple, the Apple can't get a manufacturer to produce some tone of white for a device people line up for. It happens to small companies/single designers all the time but not to Apple sized companies.

    There was something really mysterious about that white iphone and I think it is connected to this guy and the whole setup.

    I think, as it hasn't been settled silently, this thing will be huge soon. BTW; at first read you think like some "cover designer" companies etc. involved, no they talk about the actual device suppliers.

  • Buying a Nokia soon? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Ilgaz (86384) on Saturday August 14, 2010 @11:39PM (#33254758) Homepage

    Nokia is known to be obsessed with environment and living standards of their workers. They are also one of the most truly global thinking companies who cares about cultural diversity.

    Not just that, they purchased Qt from Trolltech and spend millions of engineering hours with millions of dollars to open source their key operating system. That massive work also finds its way to Linux/BSD.

    The point is, seen anyone giving a fsck lately?

  • by Sarten-X (1102295) on Sunday August 15, 2010 @12:25AM (#33254922) Homepage

    The labor unions aren't inherently the problem. It's what they argue for (in America, at least).

    For example, I'd have no problems with a union arguing that the CEO can't make more than 10 times the average starting salary, or that workers must be allowed to take a significant (but reasonable) amount of unpaid leave without risking their job.

    I have a problem with unions requiring a certain minimum salary, paid vacations, and other amenities that only serve to cost the employers money without increasing productivity.

    In my opinion, all details of that agreement should be negotiable on an individual basis.

    If employees want to group their negotiations, that's fine. Don't apply the terms of one employee's contract to someone else. Don't require workers to participate in a strike if they don't want to. Don't require union membership. Don't drive the employer to bankruptcy pushing for ever-higher wages.

  • by epine (68316) on Sunday August 15, 2010 @12:43AM (#33254996)

    If Americans were willing to work cheaper (and were actually allowed to), we might get some jobs coming back. Instead, we get labor unions that argue for high wages and benefits at the cost of actual jobs. Employment should be an agreement exchanging work for pay. In my opinion, all details of that agreement should be negotiable on an individual basis.

    I'm no fan of unions in their modern guise as bargaining collectives, but in the early days unions made tremendous contributions to workplace safety (even matters as small as functional fire escapes). Still, it surprises me that your rant makes no acknowledgement whatsoever of having encountered a positive argument on the validity of unionization. It's clear that some powerful unions overstayed their welcome, and damaged their membership through excessive demands. No organizational structure is perfect. Union leaders make good coin, and sometimes succumb to the temptation to justify their fat pay packet by engaging in brinkmanship negotiation tactics. It takes an extremely secure leader to pocket a fat pay cheque and do nothing, even where that's the best course of action.

    On the wage front, it's fairly orthodox among modern economists to believe that a minimum wage does more harm that good to low income earnings (by making it impossible for many to get a job at all).

    On the other side of the zinc coin, it's already the case that many companies view minimum wage earners as a pool of disenfranchised schleps who wouldn't know their legal rights if bitten on the backside. Many rights in America exist only if you're wealthy enough to (credibly) threaten to enforce them. Even small-claims court is daunting for someone at a sixth grade literacy level who grew up in an Elbownian-speaking household. It's true the disenfranchised could pool their resources together to protect their rights, in a process resembling unionization, with no fear of reprisals as they work the bugs out of their collaborative process. I've always thought that shit flows down hill well enough on its own accord without so many eager and active helping hands. The reason many economic theories don't work out in practice as advertised is that in much of America, shit flows down hill in pressurized pipelines. Discussions on how to reduce the pipeline pressure lead to questions of civil society, a total non-starter in present day America. First reduce the pipeline pressure, then eliminate minimum wage. In that order, I think it would work.

    Is there a way to eliminate the minimum wage to reap the theoretical economic benefits without hanging a "kick me" sign on the bottom rung of the employment ladder? Still haven't figured this out. I'm not against two year apprenticeships at a wage lower than the current minimum, as more of a temporary kick-me sign, though it would surely be abused in some quarters.

    Your African aphorism is a bit of red herring. By the time a country has the social infrastructure to engage in productive international trade, the standard of living is already rising abruptly. Ten to twenty years later, not so cheap any longer, and maybe not a bargain at all in relative productivity. I believe the standard of living in Mexico is now comparable to the standard of living I experienced growing up in Canada, long ago.

    Usually after an abrupt rise in standard of living a nation faces a painful round of internal change before resuming rapid growth. Even Japan had a major hiccup after achieving American affluence until an old custom regarding financial reporting shell games was finally dismantled.

    What I'd like to hear from Apple is that they have canned all the corrupt vendors who went along with the other side of the illicit transactions. That would send a strong message that they mean business on ethical procurement. Merely sacking the individuals with their hands caught in the cookie jar is 99% business as usual.

  • by Macrat (638047) on Sunday August 15, 2010 @01:16AM (#33255112)

    So shouldn't he be complimented for daring to Think Different?

    Actually, it's not that different in Silicon Valley. There's an exec from Fry's Electronics going to jail for doing something similar and blowing it all in Vegas.

  • by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Sunday August 15, 2010 @01:19AM (#33255124) Homepage Journal

    Taking advantage of the highest technological systems in the world, and at the same time exploiting poor peasants who will work for pennies per day just seems terribly unethical. Face it - without the infrastructure provided by past generations of American workers, NONE of today's name-brand manufacturers would be where they are today.

    Think I'm wrong? Fine - take yourself to Africa, with nothing more than you can carry on an airplane and inside your head, and set up shop to compete with Apple.

    What's that you say? You can't find people who are educated highly enough in the fields that you need? You can't find an honest government that will support your endeavor? You can't find logistics? You can't even find a reliable power supply for your plant? Well - imagine that.

    The fact is, various populations around the world have worked for generations to provide the necessary infrastructure for Apple and other corporations to do what they do. Apple (and others) takes full advantage of that infrastructure, and returns little to nothing to maintaining that infrastructure.

    Unethical? Of course it is.

  • by X.25 (255792) on Sunday August 15, 2010 @02:56AM (#33255478)

    Nokia is known to be obsessed with environment and living standards of their workers. They are also one of the most truly global thinking companies who cares about cultural diversity.

    Not just that, they purchased Qt from Trolltech and spend millions of engineering hours with millions of dollars to open source their key operating system. That massive work also finds its way to Linux/BSD.

    The point is, seen anyone giving a fsck lately?

    I know that there are plenty of people living in their small imaginary world, where is everything to them, but there is a real world out there, and it's not playing by geek standards.

    In other words, I bought a Nokia phone yesterday. And I'd never change it for any iPhone/Android/WM phone.

    Also, I don't wear Nike.

  • Re:Not with Apple (Score:3, Interesting)

    by gtall (79522) on Sunday August 15, 2010 @08:15AM (#33256280)

    For what it's worth, another anecdotal event, I was burgled a few years ago in Maryland. The cops came, then the next day they sent a detective. They dusted for prints, took notes on what was stolen, etc. 4 months later, they had caught the culprits.

    BTW, I very much doubt you have been "From Texas, to Tennessee, to Oklahoma, to South Carolina, to California and Arizona and New Mexico" and witnessed uselessness from officers.

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