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Laptop e-mail tipped Apple to kickbacks plot

By Martyn Williams
August 17, 2010 07:38 AM ET

Apple says over the course of more than three years Devine passed Cresyn sales forecasts for unreleased iPod and iPhone models, product roadmaps, sales reports and details of problems being encountered by Cresyn's competitors.

Cresyn said it could not provide a comment on the lawsuit.

The risks involved in passing such information via e-mail were highlighted in a Sept. 16, 2008, message from Devine to Cresyn that said: "I received your e-mail on my Apple account. Please avoid using that e-mail as Apple IT team will randomly scan e-mails for suspicious e-mail communications for forecast, cost and new model information."

On another occasion Devine took images of his internal Apple e-mail and sent those images to Cresyn via Hotmail, Apple's complaint alleges.

The e-mails also point to steps taken to ensure payments did not attract the attention of banks or regulatory authorities.

Money was distributed into at least 14 bank accounts held in several names in countries including the U.S., South Korea and Singapore and typically in amounts of less than $10,000, Apple said.

"Please do not send the Sept. and Oct. payment together in one wire transfer. Anything over $10,000 wired could draw too much attention," Devine allegedly wrote in an Oct. 5, 2007 e-mail.

The payments did attract some attention from South Korea's Shinhan Bank, but not for impropriety.

"I met with a banker because they want to upgrade me to VIP member," Devine allegedly wrote in a Dec. 17, 2009, e-mail to China's Kaeder Electronics.

Martyn Williams covers Japan and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com

Reprinted with permission from IDG.net. Story copyright 2014 International Data Group. All rights reserved.
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