By Don Southerton, Korea Legal Editor
The Apple supplier scandal now has a Korean connection. Apple Insider and numerous media sources report a Korean supplier has revealed it was involved in the Apple kickback scheme. It will be interesting to see how things unfold. I’m wondering if the Asian suppliers will be subject to civil lawsuits by Apple, along with accused ex-Apple supply manager, Paul Shin Devine.
A South Korean earphone and headset maker this week admitted it entered into what it believes was a legal consulting contract with an Apple supply manager.
South Korea’s Cresyn said on Tuesday that it first met Paul Devine, an Apple global supply manager, in early 2006. The company was in negotiations to supply Apple, and Devine offered consulting services according to Reuters.
An unnamed official said the company made a “legal contract” with the supply manager in 2007, through which it paid him a “small consulting fee” in exchange for “general information about U.S. markets.” Cresyn supplies the ear buds that ship with Apple’s line of iPods.
In addition, JLJ Holdings, owner of Jin Li Mould Manufacturing, said it was looking into the accusations of kickbacks made by Apple. The company said that a former Jin Li employee was named in the indictment, along with Devine.
On Monday, Pegatron, the parent company of Kaedar Electronics, admitted it did pay a brokerage fee to an intermediate trading company between 2005 and 2008. The incident occurred before Pegatron acquired Kaedar, which has supplied iPod packing boxes to Apple since 2005. A company spokesperson said that no money was ever paid to an individual.
Three more companies have been named in the case but have not commented: Glocom/Lateral Solutions and Fatestning Technologies of Singapore, and Nishoku Technology in Taiwan.
Devine appeared in a San Jose, Calif., court on Monday and pleaded not guilty to accusations that he shared confidential information with Apple’s suppliers to give them an advantage in negotiations. He was arrested Friday and charged with 23 counts, including wire fraud, kickbacks and money laundering.
Devine also faces a civil suit from Apple, alleging that he accepted more than a million dollars in kickbacks from Asian suppliers.
Source: Apple Insider