back to article Former Apple worker pleads guilty to $17m mail and wire fraud charges

A one-time Apple employee working as a buyer within the iGiant's supply chain department has pleaded guilty to mail and wire fraud charges spanning multiple years, ultimately costing the company $17 million. Dhirendra Prasad, 52, of Mountain House, California, worked at Apple from 2008 to 2018 and operated in the Global …

  1. M.V. Lipvig Silver badge
    Big Brother

    So ig I read this correctly,

    He likely was caught only because Uncle Sam didn't get his cut. You can get away with any other crime, but don't pay your taxes and you'll be reeled in. The taxman is always there, and always gets his cut.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So ig I read this correctly,

      This depends on who investigated this first. If Apple found about this before the IRS did, they will have certainly sued him to oblivion. And Apple has some fierce lawyers! In this case, it looks like Apple was unaware of the entire scheme, before the IRS found out.

      If it's not that, then Apple was playing stupid. But I doubt it - why would they?

      1. aerogems Silver badge

        Re: So ig I read this correctly,

        Usually when you see scams like this, they're undone by getting greedy and things get to ridiculous levels. However, $17m, over the span of about 10 years, at a company the size of Apple, is fairly tame and likely to fly under the radar as not being big enough to trigger alarm bells with auditors. Things go missing all the time, even with the best inventory system, or they could be damaged in transit... Around $1m/year is a pretty reasonable figure for lost/damaged parts. The main problem is if someone notices that one person always seems to "lose" around $1m worth of parts every year. Not to give anyone ideas, but you need several people who can spread out the losses. Of course that then means everyone's cut is lower and thus the scam is undone.

        That all said, my guess is Apple tipped off the IRS and was asked to hold off on any legal action while a case was built. There will likely be civil charges filed by Apple soon enough.

        1. DS999 Silver badge

          Re: So ig I read this correctly,

          The thing I wonder about this is what was his salary at Apple? Given his position and the amount of money was responsible for spending he probably had a halfway decent stock compensation package.

          Apple's stock experienced tremendous growth from 2008 to 2018 (and even moreso to now) so it isn't like he needed to steal to become a multimillionaire.

      2. Bitsminer Silver badge

        Re: So ig I read this correctly,

        Why would they [play stupid]?

        Because federal law. If the bad boys were only in California, they won't be federally prosecuted for "interstate" crimes like wire fraud.

        As soon as the Nevada connection is discovered, then the feds can be brought in.

        (There's an old story about a small biz, Illinois I think, that discovered their bookkeeper was stealing from them. Knowing this, they waited until she transferred some ill-gotten gains to a relative in another state. Bingo, federal charges! Federal time! IRS tax audit!

        Revenge is best served via a US federal prison.)

    2. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: So ig I read this correctly,

      If you're willing to steal $17 million from your employer through various forged invoices and other illegal means, you are probably willing to engage in tax fraud via similar means.

      The problem is all it takes is one person within his circle to be flagged for something and get the IRS investigating, and once he's caught squeal on the rest.

      1. David 132 Silver badge

        Re: So ig I read this correctly,

        As the saying goes, though, "one crime at a time".

        The classic example is that if you're drug-running, you make sure your car is insured/taxed/inspected, all its lights work, and you don't speed or run any red lights. Basically, drive like a grandma.

        (all of which admittedly, in some parts around here, would be suspicious in and of itself... but I digress)

        That, and knowing when to take your ill-gotten gains, cash out, and vanish into the night.

  2. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    Inferior components

    Looking at this from a customer perspective: there are Apple products floating around that contain inferior components.

    Are there customers that have been denied service because of allegations of third-party repairs?

    1. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: Inferior components

      I don't see any allegations there he substituted inferior products, only that he engaged in various schemes to pay Apple pay twice for stuff or pay for stuff that was never received.

      1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

        Re: I don't see any allegations there he substituted inferior [components]

        >he had motherboards shipped from Apple's inventory to CTrends, Baker's company. Baker was to have the board's components harvested, and Prasad issued purchase orders for those products.

        If Baker harvested the components with the blessing of Apple, then I would agree with you. In whatever way they were harvested, I'm certain they would in some way fall foul of Apple's QA procedures, and thus be treated as inferior.

        1. DS999 Silver badge

          Re: I don't see any allegations there he substituted inferior [components]

          If they came off a motherboard Apple sold, they are Apple qualified parts. And probably ended up going back onto an identical Apple motherboard that needed a part replaced.

  3. X5-332960073452

    And how many milliseconds of Apple's profits was this?

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