Apple manager pleads not guilty in kickback case

Paul Shin Devine pleads not guilty to 23 counts related to alleged kickbacks, while two manufacturers listed in the indictment are running their own probes.

U.S. District Court via

Paul Shin Devine, an Apple global supply manager arrested last week for allegedly taking large kickbacks from several suppliers, pleaded not guilty Monday in U.S. District Court in San Jose, Calif.

Devine was indicted last week by a federal grand jury on 23 counts of wire fraud, money laundering, conspiracy, and accepting kickbacks, according to court documents. The indictment alleges that he took advantage of his role at Apple to acquire confidential information, which he then allegedly sold to several suppliers to help them negotiate better contracts.

Beyond the grand jury indictment, Apple has also filed a civil suit against Devine, charging him with accepting more than $1 million in bribes from suppliers over the past few years.

The six Asian companies that are mentioned in the indictment supply accessories for the iPhone and iPod. Two have announced their own internal investigations while a third has denied engaging in any illegal practices in the matter.

Taiwan-based Pegatron, which is owned by Netbook maker Asus, said Tuesday it is investigating its Kaedar Electronics segment. Pegatron has already suspended one senior manager at Kaedar over alleged payments made to Devine, according to Bloomberg. Pegatron's name has surfaced in recent Verizon iPhone rumor stories as reportedly working on a CDMA version of the iPhone 4.

Singapore's JLJ Holdings, which owns Jin Li Mold Manufacturing, also said it's looking into the matter internally and announced that Andrew Ang, the other person named in the federal indictment, is one of its former employees, A third company, earphone and headset maker Cresyn, denied Tuesday that it had made improper payments to Devine, according to Reuters.

The three other suppliers named by Apple are Glocom/Lateral Solutions and Fastening Technologies, both based in Singapore, and Taiwanese company Nishoku Technology.

A hearing to determine bail for Devine is scheduled for Wednesday.

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