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Crime The Almighty Buck The Courts Apple

Apple Exec Stashed $150,000 In Shoe Boxes 345

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the but-it'll-thaw-out dept.
angry tapir writes "US federal agents found more than US$150,000 in cash when they searched the house of Apple manager Paul Devine earlier this month, according to prosecutors. 'He had over $150,000 stored in shoe boxes,' Department of Justice Attorney Michelle Kane said. Devine was charged two weeks ago with taking kickbacks from Apple suppliers."
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Apple Exec Stashed $150,000 In Shoe Boxes

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  • Mattress! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by OffaMyLawn (1885682)
    You don't use shoe boxes, they're too obvious.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Ironhandx (1762146)

      Mattress or Shoe boxes, either one is safer than a lot of banks or investment firms these days.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Now when you have a ~5% devaluation rate on your paper, due to the Private Central Bank running the printing presses like mad. $150,000 today... $142,000 next year... $135,000 the following year... and so on.

        By 2020 your mattress or shoebox stash will be worth just $89,000. You're better off to put the paper in the bank where the 5% devaluation can be offset by a 1-2% interest rate.

        • Inflation is currently running more like about 1% per year, has been in that neighborhood for quite a while, and there's reason to believe that we could be entering a period of deflation. And your typical passbook savings is paying a fraction of a percent in interest. So, while there are still a lot of good reasons to keep money in the bank (if your house burns down, your cash is gone... but if your bank burns down, your money doesn't. FDIC insurance. Etc.), the rate of return vs. inflation isn't really one

    • by jeffmeden (135043)

      He would have gotten away with it by using an apple product box, but they were too small to hold all that cash!

    • by Tackhead (54550)

      You don't use shoe boxes, they're too obvious.

      Think different!

  • by theheff (894014) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @11:37AM (#33369580)
    iBox?
  • No app for that? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cayenne8 (626475) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @11:38AM (#33369590) Homepage Journal
    Hmm...seems like there should be an app for that??

    Seriously, if this guy was socking cash back and wanted to hide it from the feds, why didn't he think of better hiding places?

    Heck, just watching the Sopranos would give you some better ideas for cash placement than shoe boxes all over the house.

    • Re:No app for that? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by erroneus (253617) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @11:53AM (#33369824) Homepage

      Perhaps he just didn't think he would get caught since the money wasn't going through banks. After all, that's pretty much what I would do. Actually, that's where I would start. Then I would probably set up some sort of business, accept "cash payment" for whatever services rendered and then pay some taxes to make it all look legitimate. I know... that just makes too much sense, but then again, I believe my greed has limits where many others' does not.

      • Re:No app for that? (Score:5, Informative)

        by jeffmeden (135043) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @12:01PM (#33369944) Homepage Journal

        Perhaps he just didn't think he would get caught since the money wasn't going through banks. After all, that's pretty much what I would do. Actually, that's where I would start. Then I would probably set up some sort of business, accept "cash payment" for whatever services rendered and then pay some taxes to make it all look legitimate. I know... that just makes too much sense, but then again, I believe my greed has limits where many others' does not.

        Ah, er, hey old article, help me out here... "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."

        Sounds like he thought of everything except what to do with the money once it was in his hands. What ever happened to burying it?

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by crakbone (860662)
          More than likely that is not the money, just emergency cash in case he needs to split. I knew of a billionaire that had over 20 million in his garage. It saved him when a partner froze all his bank accounts by court order.
      • by blair1q (305137)

        I would probably set up some sort of business, accept "cash payment" for whatever services rendered and then pay some taxes to make it all look legitimate.

        Ironically, this is how Apple started...

    • Re:No app for that? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Haffner (1349071) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @12:01PM (#33369948)

      People lacking a significant criminal background ALWAYS tend to be stupid when it comes to hiding cash. Especially once you reach a certain amount where hiding it within your house requires multiple hiding spots. Wall sockets, light switches, and inside of old, large electronics (CRT monitors, VHS players) with difficult-to-remove siding are all viable home storage locations. Then again, it really depends on what your goals are. If you want to hide money so well that no one will find it, get some custom furniture with places to hide cash that can be built around the cash, so the couch (or table, sometimes) must be physically destroyed to access it.

      Most people who store lots of cash tend to be stupid about it. They place it in a location that is difficult for them to get to, say, under some boxes, or in the back of the closet. Thing is, someone who wants that cash couldn't care less about what they destroy in the process to get it.

      /tinfoil hat on/ Ideally, to hide large sums of cash in your home, you need to determine what percent must be easily accessible, accessible, and largely inaccessible. Easily accessible means that it takes you less than a minute to get to it. A 500 count jar of advil is a great place to store a roll of cash, and then pour the pills back over it. (Also have some underneath). Food containers also work well for this (Cereal, milk jug, etc).

      For accessible, but not easily so, you have more options. Generally, this category can fall into "Things with screws." As previously mentioned, a CRT monitor or VHS player with removable back/side/bottom works wonders for hiding things. My favorite was a radio receiver from 1980 that went with some other stereo equipment. It had 6 screws on the bottom, and there was a thin space for hiding something flat between it and the circuit board. The panel was slightly smaller than the gap, too, so you could see the circuit board 1cm away, but the panel was big enough to hide any cash. Another great place is to take your door off the wall, remove the hinges (from the wall) and drill into that area. It is easy cut in deep enough to store something. Lastly, most light switches or wall outlets have a small gap in the wall, which is perfect for storing a roll. Oh, and also, a favorite: Get 2 fairly large cuts of prewrapped meat at the supermarket, and unwrap them. Throw 1 away, and keep the white bottom tray. Put some cash between that tray and the other one (with the meat on it) and then press the edges together, put the meat back on top, and then wrap it really tightly (even better to reuse the wrap it came with) and then throw it in the freezer.

      /tinfoil hat off

      • by pcolaman (1208838)

        You know perhaps just a tad too much about this subject. Hiding from the government?

        • by pspahn (1175617)

          Precisely what I was thinking.

          Hmmm, this guy seems to know a lot about where people hide their cash

        • Not really, it's just good common sense security, which all us IT geeks should have at least a passing knowledge of.

          I especially liked the distinction he made between secrecy and access, which really is the crux of the matter. It's trivial to secure anything against anyone if you really want to (chuck in a waterproof safe then drop into the Mariana Trench for example), but the problem is there's always at least one person who needs access, and that's where security gets complicated.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jeffmeden (135043)

        Good advice, but your stereo equipment idea fails the "would someone steal it even if not looking for hidden loot" test... A great spot I would add to the list (not that I have anything to hide, ahem) is the underside of just about any heavy furniture like a hutch, dresser, entertainment center, etc. If it's not already boxed in, a few pieces of masonite can make it look like it was meant to be that way, and a few furniture sliders on the bottom can make it easy to get to the back, while the wood tacks tr

        • by Haffner (1349071)
          The stereo radio receiver I have is a piece of junk (old, spotty aluminum look) and I keep it thrown somewhere like a closet. Compared to the ~5 laptops, ps3 and 2 360s in the house, no thief is going to take it.
      • You've been watching too much Burn Notice... (jk, you can never watch too much Burn Notice)

      • by snookerhog (1835110) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @12:28PM (#33370316)
        in the Banana Stand
      • by Myopic (18616)

        Steve Jobs? Is that you?

      • The amount of thought you have put into that is a little unnerving. Any bets on how long it is before he gets a special visit?

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by russotto (537200)

        Or, buy gold, and hide that. Gold can easily be concealed. Coat it in lead and it's a fishing sinker, wheel weight, or plumb bob. Pull it into a wire and coat it in tin and it appears to be solder. Make pipes out of it, paint it, and attach it to your plumbing system.

      • Re:No app for that? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @03:20PM (#33372588)

        (posting as AC for reasons that will become obvious)

        BZZZZT! wrong!

        I have to take exception to several of your suggested hiding places. I used to BE a thief, I've commited B&E on dozens of homes in my mis-spent youth and in most cases, I was not alone. I can tell you that the image of the stupid, poor, stupid, lazy and stupid urban youth boosting your shit to buy drugs is bang on. (did I mention stupid?) Back when I was breaking into homes, I was looking for the following (in order) drugs, cash, non-custom and non-monogram jewellry, easily fenced/bartered electronics, meat, especially roasts, steaks etc, and finally lingerie.

        Here's the logic behind each:
        Drugs: well duh! you'd be amazed at the number of homes we found worthwhile quantities of weed in, and trust me, druggie thieves develop a good sense for where you're likely to keep your stash, since you're likely to be stupid and lazy about hiding it too. Even if we find something that we have no interest in ourselves, we always know someone who'd be happy to take it off our hands.
        Cash is obviously the least traceable, most fungible and most value-dense item there is.
        Jewellry, it's a lot harder than the media would have to believe to find a straight out-and-out fence, and even when you do, they never give more than a small percentage of the actual value.(5% would be generous) That said, there is usually a friend or a local drug dealer who is interested in buying your swag as gifts for the girlfriend, or more likely, taking in trade to cover your drug tab.
        Electronics: Back then it was all about component stero systems and this new high end format called CD, even if I didn't know anyone who would buy it, plenty of guys would just take it home for themselves. Again, there is often a buddy or drug dealer who will barter with you. The thief may not find your stashed cash, but you're still out both cash and stereo aren't you? Back then video game cartridges were guaranteed to walk out the door with us, except for Donkey King 'cause everybody already had that one.
        Meat: meat is an expensive, value-dense item. A lot of these guys practically live on "pogie-bait" and have a girlfriend and some bastard kid(s) to feed. Every 20$ he can shave off the food budget is another dime bag or rock he can score for himself. Besides, the freezer is one of the best places to look for cash... "Bringin home the bacon" is also a good way to shut up that nagging bitch and convince her you are actually providing for her and the brat(s)

        Thieves are lazy, we almost never steal your furniture 'cause it's fucking heavy! Unless you got yourself a new or almost new black leather sectional or something, we ain't going to touch it. (I've never undertsood my fellow scumbags fascination with leather furniture and brass n' glass accent furniture as a status item) The safest piece of furniture? that ratty looking sofa couch you have in the spare room.

        One last thought: a lot of thieves will just fuck you over on anything they can't steal. i.e. too much meat in the freezer to steal? we'll just unplug it. Take a shit between your mattress and box spring, Scrub our anus with your toothbrush, jerk off in the ladies lingerie. (that which we haven't crammed into our pockets as a gift our own girlfriends.) Whatever sounds like shits n' giggles to the druggie at the time. So don't stash any cash in easily breakable/vandalized items. I've *seen* grandma's ashes get flung all over the living rooms white shag carpet just because, so her urn is not a good hidie-hole.

        My recommendation for a hiding place? Take off the toekick of your kitchen lower cabinets and replace the nails with super magnets and metal plates. There is a phenomenal amount of space for cash, guns whathaveyou and no thief would waste enough time in the home to get around to checking that.
        This is useless for hiding anything from the authorities of course. For them it's not a value vs effort thing, if they suspect you have something hiding in your home, they can take as long as they want taking things down to the bare studs, even x-raying things if they think it's worthwhile. Nothing within your legal property lines would be secure.

    • The problem with that much cash is that it is hard to launder. US Banks would leave an easy trace. Presumably he did not get all the money at once so routine trips to the Cayman Islands would appear suspicious. Trips to Switzerland may appear less suspicious but the Swiss banks used to be very discreet. With US branches these days, some of the larger ones like UBS Warburg are hesitant to hide money from the US government for risk of prosecution.

      That's why there are whole criminal industries that deal w

    • by gstoddart (321705)

      Heck, just watching the Sopranos would give you some better ideas for cash placement than shoe boxes all over the house.

      Oh, I don't know. I seem to recall an episode where Tony was stashing bricks of cash in planters and various places around his house.

      That's not very far removed from a shoe box. :-P

  • by tibbetts (7769) <<jason> <at> <tibbetts.net>> on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @11:38AM (#33369592) Homepage Journal
    Don't they realize that's just a prototype for the long-rumored iStash?
  • by PalmKiller (174161) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @11:38AM (#33369594) Homepage
    Maybe he just don't trust banks to be to big to fail anymore.
    • by erroneus (253617)

      There are a lot of reasons to not trust banks... at least not with your ill-gotten-gains. The government has easy access to that data and they know how much you get paid by your employer.

  • Devine pleaded not guilty to the charges last week.

    Oh my. I would love to hear his excuse for this. "What? Doesn't *everyone* keep a few hundred thousand dollars in shoe boxes? My financial planner told me to diversify! Those Swiss bank accounts were for storing cheese!"

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      A friend of mine told the story of his grandfather hording cash. Seems his grandpa was the mayor and, well, you get the idea. The cash was kept in a cabinet in the kitchen.

      One day grandma comes home to find him and grandpa playing monopoly with real money. She was not amused.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @11:46AM (#33369700)

      We probably have about $150,000 in shoeboxes in my apartment. Unfortunately, they're in the form of my wife's shoes.

    • by mea37 (1201159)

      Well, if you're willing to call $150,000 "a few hundred thousand", then I guess I shouldn't bother drawing attention to detail, but...

      Having a supply of cash, even a very large one, is not illegal. Today it is uncommon (but it wasn't always), and so today it appears suspicious to most people; but it doesn't really add anything to a case against him.

      • by shentino (1139071)

        It does when civil forfeitures are the norm.

        Yay for abusive cases for in rem jurisdiction.

        United States v. $124,700 anyone?

  • by Lumpy (12016) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @11:42AM (#33369646) Homepage

    There are lots of ways to securely stash cash. shoeboxes under the bed are not one of them. a run to home depot for a post hole digger, some PVC pipe and caps = a money safe the feds wont find.

    Although this guy does not look like the type that knows how to run a complex device like a shovel.

    • I had similar thoughts. We Slashdotters suck at money laundering.

    • by vlm (69642) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @11:51AM (#33369788)

      There are lots of ways to securely stash cash. shoeboxes under the bed are not one of them. a run to home depot for a post hole digger, some PVC pipe and caps = a money safe the feds wont find.

      Small gold coins are much more waterproof. Being able to find with a metal detector, is a double edged sword.

      • by Graff (532189) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @01:56PM (#33371690)

        Small gold coins are much more waterproof. Being able to find with a metal detector, is a double edged sword.

        You could always go with precious gems, they are both non-metallic and waterproof.

        However, PVC would work just fine for paper money. You seal the end caps with PVC glue and include some desiccant material in the pipe to dry up any traces of moisture. Cloth packets filled with activated carbon which have been dried at low temperatures in the oven works very well at adsorbing moisture, volatile organics, it'll even suck up some of the oxygen in the tube.

    • Of course then the neighbors start wondering why he's burying pipes in his backyard.

      Disguise it as a legitimate home improvement project though (like putting up a fence) and you might have a winner.

    • by idontgno (624372)

      There are lots of ways to securely stash cash. shoeboxes under the bed are not one of them. a run to home depot for a post hole digger, some PVC pipe and caps = a money safe the feds wont find.

      Assuming you paid for your purchases with cash (small denomination, circulated bills) and disposed very securely of the receipt. And made other, more obvious purchases to explain the trip to the home-improvement place and the tools. Like, maybe, putting in your own fence.

      Then it's a matter of digging your stash wher

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by sjs132 (631745)

        But you still need to get to it when you need it.... Going out to the back yard to get some cash for a car or shopping spree may get obvious over time or leave definitive traces of your location.

        Buried in the 1/2 crawl would be good... That way it is under the house.
        loose brick is good... again, inside of the house, hopefully not too obvious it is loose.

        The real problem comes from the cash being stashed at one location that you have to revisit to gain access to it. If you end up on the run, you can't alw

        • by Lumpy (12016)

          never said it was in MY back yard.

          all I need is the list of Latitude and longitudes and a GPS.. on the run... I can stop by that $10,000 drop in the national forest to grab some traveling money...

    • by Zocalo (252965) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @12:05PM (#33370008) Homepage
      You are assuming that is all that he managed to take in bribes. For all we know, the money in the shoe boxes was the contents of his last briefcase full of used, non-sequential notes and he just hadn't had a chance to transfer it to a better location before he was arrested. If he's been doing this long enough, it's entirely possible that he could have taken several million dollars by now...
    • by VoxMagis (1036530)

      Wait though - so you take your cash, put it in a pvc pipe and cap off both ends... then bury them all over the yard?

      Then during the search, the police stumble across what appears to be a dozen PIPE BOMBS buried under a few inches of dirt all around your house.

      I think I'd rather they just find the money than bring in the bomb squad and hit you with those charges.

  • Shoeboxes in your house? Wow, that's the least amount of effort he could possibly muster.
    Everyone knows you're supposed to bury treasure boxes!

  • by physicsphairy (720718) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @11:46AM (#33369710) Homepage
    The balance on his bank account was 12 dozen shoes.
  • So...I need a place to keep all this money safe. Yep. Nice and safe. A safe place to keep it hidden. Someplace...safe...

    OH! A shoebox! Brilliant!

    • by gstoddart (321705)

      So...I need a place to keep all this money safe. Yep. Nice and safe. A safe place to keep it hidden. Someplace...safe...

      You know, it's not that far-fetched. I've certainly known people who keep a stash of cash scurried away in an obscure corner of their house in case of emergency.

      I've certainly heard stories about people keeping money mattresses -- although, it didn't work out so well for this lady [timesonline.co.uk] who threw out her mother's life savings. :-P

  • Inflation (Score:5, Informative)

    by DocSavage64109 (799754) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @11:55AM (#33369838)
    One of the problems with stashing $150,000 in cash is that you lose some $4,500/yr (or more) due to inflation. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:US_Historical_Inflation_Ancient.svg [wikipedia.org]
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      That's true in inflationary times. We are not in inflationary times however.

      Even large well-run companies are holding tons of cash right now.

    • Re:Inflation (Score:5, Insightful)

      by oldspewey (1303305) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @12:04PM (#33369980)
      Hey, that beats the hell out of losing $60,000/yr due to insolvent banks and plummeting securities.
    • The biggest concern about holding money obtained from crooked sources is not losing worth due to lack of interest on your capital, it's the feds finding that money and charging you with accepting bribes. But he failed at that too.
    • by v1 (525388)

      but how does that compare with taxes on that much money, considering this guy's tax bracket, if he were to just have it in savings?

      tho of course good investments would be the place to put it. but most of those are tracked. Pretty much anytime you have taxable income anywhere, be it savings or investments, someone's going to catch you.

      I see his mother put up the deed to her house for his bond, for whenever he manages to meet the judges's requirements. (specifically, that all money he stashed in foreign acc

    • by Syberz (1170343)

      One of the problems with stashing $150,000 in cash is that you lose some $4,500/yr (or more) due to inflation.

      Perhaps, but for some losing 4500$/year is better than losing 150 000$ when your assets are frozen during an investigation.

  • "kickbacks"? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by v1 (525388) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @12:10PM (#33370058) Homepage Journal

    from TFA:

    Prosecutors say that Devine shared confidential information on Apple products such as the iPod and iPhone in exchange for cash kickbacks. He allegedly provided suppliers with projected sales figures, data on how much it cost Apple to produce the products, and pricing bids from supply chain competitors.

    This looks a lot more like "corporate espionage" than "kickbacks". I usually consider kickbacks to mean that he accepted bribes from clients for favoritism. But this guy was basically getting paid to spy on his employer and provide intelligence.

    • by cayenne8 (626475)
      "This looks a lot more like "corporate espionage" than "kickbacks". I usually consider kickbacks to mean that he accepted bribes from clients for favoritism. But this guy was basically getting paid to spy on his employer and provide intelligence."

      If this is actually the case....is there an actual CRIMINAL law against letting out company information for $$?

      I mean, sure...he's likely open to civil lawsuit from Apple on his doing this, violation of NDA's..etc, but is there an actual federal/state law making

  • Not Uncommon (Score:2, Interesting)

    by bloobamator (939353)
    I once had a boss who took kickbacks from vendors. I remember one time CDW gave him a huge plasma TV, and an iPod, and many other goodies. He also used to rent SUV's on the company credit card and use it to take his family on trips. He was eventually fired.
  • He now rates having the name of Paul "iStash" Devine putting him in company with Bill "Cold Cash" Jefferson and others.
  • I friend of mine loves the iPhone. When the new one came out, he was one people waiting in the super long lines for it. Three times they were out of stock, so he had to try again later. He said he noticed some interesting similarities about the people in the various lines.

    Quite a few paid in cash. Normally not unusual at all. But these people were paying with the exact amount needed (even accounting for tax) and with clearly uncirculated bills. They were also the ones that seemed the most vocal about how
  • I use those old metal CD cases you buy at Wal-Mart. Much neater and you can hide them in odd places.

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