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Ex-Apple exec going to jail for kickback scheme

After pleading guilty to charges of wire fraud, conspiracy and money laundering, Paul Devine is sentenced to one year in jail and fined $4.5 million.

Devine pleaded guilty in March 2011 to wire fraud, conspiracy and money laundering. CNET

A former Apple executive who sold confidential product information to suppliers will face one year in jail and a fine of $4.5 million.

Paul Devine, who worked at Apple as a supply manager from 2005 through 2010, was finally sentenced in a San Jose, Calif., court early last week for his role in a kickback scheme, The Associated Press reported on Friday. Initially arrested in August of 2010, Devine was accused of providing certain Asian suppliers of iPhone and iPod accessories with confidential details that allowed them to cut more favorable deals with Apple.

Devine pleaded guilty to the charges in March of 2011, but had to wait more than three years for the sentence. The US Attorney's Office announced the prison term and fine on Friday but didn't say why it took so long for it to reach the final sentencing, according to the AP.

The sentence was light in one respect as Devine could have faced as many as 20 years in prison on the wire fraud and money laundering charges. But the $4.5 million fine itself was much higher than initially expected. As part of his plea deal in 2011, Devine agreed to give up more than $2.28 million in money and property.

Aside from the US District Court case, Apple filed its own civil suit against Devine, charging him with accepting more than $1 million in bribes from the Asian suppliers. In 2010, Devine pleaded not guilty to those charges. The six companies named in the Apple indictment included Taiwan-based Pegatron, Singapore's JLJ Holdings, earphone and headset maker Cresyn, Glocom/Lateral Solutions, Fastening Technologies and Nishoku Technology.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In 2010, Apple spokesman Steve Dowling said, "Apple is committed to the highest ethical standards in the way we do business. We have zero tolerance for dishonest behavior inside or outside the company."

(Via 9to5Mac)