Ex-Employee Admits to Defrauding Apple of $17M

Dhirendra Prasad worked as a buyer in the supply chain
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 19, 2022 3:35 PM CDT
Updated Nov 2, 2022 12:58 AM CDT
Employee Charged With Defrauding Apple of $10M
An Apple logo hangs in an Apple Store window in Kansas City, Mo.   (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

Update: A former Apple employee pleaded guilty Tuesday to defrauding the tech giant out of more than $17 million over seven years while he worked as a buyer for Apple's Global Service Supply chain, federal prosecutors said. Prasad admitted the fraud involved “taking kickbacks, inflating invoices, stealing parts, and causing Apple to pay for items and services never received,” prosecutors said in a statement cited by the AP. For one scheme, prosecutors said Prasad, 52, arranged to have Apple components shipped to an outside vendor's warehouse, where they were repackaged and eventually sold back to Apple. He could face more than 20 years in prison when he's sentenced next March. Two of his co-conspirators, outside vendors who did business with Apple, have been charged in separate federal cases. Our original story from March 19 follows:

A former Apple employee has been charged with defrauding the tech giant out of more than $10 million by taking kickbacks, stealing equipment and laundering money, federal prosecutors said. Dhirendra Prasad, 52, worked for 10 years as a buyer in Apple's Global Service Supply Chain department. A federal criminal case unsealed Friday alleges that he exploited his position to defraud the company in several schemes, including stealing parts and causing the company to pay for items and services it never received, the AP reports.

A court has allowed the federal government to seize five real estate properties and financial accounts worth about $5 million from Prasad, and the government is seeking to keep those assets as proceeds of crime, the U.S. Attorney's office in San Jose said in a news release. Prasad is scheduled to appear next week in US District Court in San Jose to answer to charges of engaging in a conspiracy to commit fraud, money laundering and tax evasion. It's unclear whether he has retained a lawyer. A phone number listed for him was disconnected.

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Two owners of vendor companies that did business with Apple have admitted to conspiring with Prasad to commit fraud and launder money, prosecutors said, and are charged in separate cases, per KPIX. Fraud, money laundering, and tax evasion each carry maximum sentences of five to 20 years, but sentencing guidelines and judges' discretion mean most people convicted of fraud in federal court receive less than the maximum sentence.

(More Apple stories.)

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