• Embattled Apple Manager Agrees to Safeguard Secrets

    Does the name Paul Devine sound familiar? A few weeks ago, our Paul covered the antics of that Paul - a mid-level Apple manager who was arrested and charged in federal court with selling company secrets to more than half a dozen suppliers in Asia. Devine, "Apple's iPod Senior Operations Manager," was named in a 23-count federal grand jury indictment for wire fraud, money laundering and kickbacks, along with Andrew Ang, an employee at an Apple supplier in Singapore. Apple is also suing Devine, saying he accepted more than $1 million US in "payments, kickbacks and bribes" over several years.

    In case you missed it, over the weekend Bloomberg offered a follow up to the Devine saga. It turns out that the embattled Apple manager has agreed to a court order protecting Apple’s trade secrets in any document exchange during pretrial negotiations." In other words, Devine gave a thumbs up to procedures about how the data will be handled during pretrial bargaining, "without giving up his right to challenge how such information may be used at trial." Bloomberg discovered the new details through court documents related to the case.

    Upon his August arrest, Devine pleaded not guilty. Nonetheless, the ongoing case, lingering accusations, and brewing suspicions among those at Apple and its overseas suppliers indicate the fallout from the Devine case will be significant and potentially change the way business is done (or monitored) on the part of Apple. After all, Cresyn, which supplies earbuds for Apple's iPods, said it made "legal contract" with Devine, who was paid a "consulting fee" in return for "general information."

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