In a nutshell: A former Apple employee pled guilty in federal court to charges of conspiracy to commit fraud and conspiracy to defraud the United States. The crimes involved scams the man ran during his ten-year employment at Apple as a buyer within its supply chain.
Apple hired Dhirendra Prasad in 2008 to work in its Global Service Supply Chain. His primary responsibility was to purchase services and parts for the company from its various authorized vendors.
In 2011, Prasad began accepting kickbacks, falsifying invoices, and stealing components. Prasad enlisted the help of at least two of Apple's vendors to set up and execute the scams. The embezzlement continued through 2018 before Apple caught on and pressed charges. Prasad's hustle resulted in a $17 million loss.
One scheme that Prasad admitted to involved shipping motherboards to a company called CTrends, operated by Don Baker, who pleaded guilty in a separate federal case. Baker would receive the boards and strip them of parts. Prasad would then draw up a purchase order, and Baker would fill it with the harvested components and fraudulent invoices. The two would then split the money.
In another scam, Prasad shipped parts from a Nevada warehouse owned by Apple to Quality Electronics Distributors. This business was another Apple vendor run by co-conspirator Robert Hansen. Like the other scheme, Hansen would repackage the components and send them back to the warehouse with fake invoices, and Prasad would dummy up purchase orders. Hansen also pled guilty in a separate hearing.
In the seven years of defrauding Apple, Prasad had to set up a shell company to hide his phony business dealings that frequently involved hundreds of thousands of dollars. Prasad would funnel payments from Baker and Hansen into the company while they would write the expenses off as tax deductions. The US Justice Department claims Prasad and his confederates defrauded the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of over $1.8 million.
Sentencing is scheduled for March 14, 2023. Prasad could face up to 20 years in prison for one count of wire and mail fraud against Apple and another five years for a single count of defrauding the IRS.