Former Apple Employee Accused of Stealing Millions, Money Laundering and Tax Evasion

A former Apple employee has been charged in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California with defrauding Apple, Inc. of more than $10 million, plus money laundering, conspiracy and tax evasion charges.

Charges filed last week allege that Dhirendra Prasad, 52 of Mountain House in San Joaquin County, committed five federal felonies over more than a decade, according to U.S. Attorney Stephanie M. Hinds and Internal Revenue Service  Special Agent-in-Charge Mark H. Pearson.

Prasad is scheduled to make his initial appearance on the criminal charges in San Jose federal court before United States Magistrate Judge Susan van Keulen on Thursday.

In the first count, Prasad is charged with engaging in a conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud from 2013 through January 2019. In second and third counts, Prasad is charged with separate conspiracies to launder fraud proceeds.  The fourth count charges Prasad with conspiring to evade a co-conspirator’s tax liabilities for several years, and the fifth count charges Prasad with evading his own income tax liabilities.

In a related case, federal investigators say that when Prasad was employed by Apple from December 2008 through December 2018 as a buyer in Apple’s Global Service Supply Chain, responsible for purchasing parts and services from vendors on Apple’s behalf, he exploited his position by engaging in multiple different schemes to defraud Apple, including taking kickbacks, stealing parts and causing Apple to pay for items and services it never received, resulting in a loss of more than $10 million  Prasad is also described as evading tax on the schemes’ proceeds, which he also laundered.

Prasad’s alleged co-conspirators are Robert Gary Hansen and Don M. Baker, both of whom live in Central California. Investigators said Hansen and Baker both owned vendor companies that did business with Apple, and the charges allege they each conspired with Prasad to commit fraud and money laundering.

Neither Hansen nor Baker were charged with Prasad, but they were each earlier charged in separate federal criminal cases also unsealed last week. Both men admitted their involvement, authorities said in a March 18 press release.

In addition, the United States last September filed a civil forfeiture action related to the criminal charges against Prasad, seeking five pieces of real property and a dozen financial accounts traced to Prasad’s crimes.  Those assets – which have an estimated aggregate value of $5 million– have been frozen by a court-authorized seizure warrant, according to court records. The civil forfeiture action remains pending.

The Information charges Prasad with: conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years; two counts of conspiracy to engage in money laundering, which also carries a maximum 20-year sentence; the fourth count charges a conspiracy to defraud the United States, with a maximum penalty of five years; finally, one count of tax evasion, which carries a maximum prison sentence of five years.


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