Former Apple Employee, in Plea Deal, Gets Three Years in Prison for Conspiring with Vendors to Steal $17M

Former Apple employee Dhirendra Prasad was sentenced Wednesday to serve three years in prison and ordered to pay $19.3 million in restitution for conspiring to defraud Apple, Inc., of millions of dollars and for related tax crimes.

In addition to the three-year prison sentence and the restitution order to pay Apple $17.4 million and $1.9 million to the IRS, U.S. District Court Judge Beth Freeman in San Jose ordered Prasad to forfeit $5.5 million worth of assets that already have been seized by the government and to pay an additional $8.1 million in a forfeiture money judgment. Freeman also ordered Prasad to serve three years of supervised release after his time in prison.

U.S. Attorney Ismail J. Ramsey said in a statement that Prasad, 55, from Mountain Home in San Joaquin County, accepted a plea deal in November, in which he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and tax evasion, with money laundering and fraud charges dismissed.

The criminal conduct in this case centered around Prasad’s employment at Apple from December 2008 through December 2018. For most of that time, he was a buyer in Apple’s Global Service Supply Chain, according to prosecutors.

Prasad’s job as an Apple buyer was to facilitate the process through which Apple bought parts to perform warranty repairs on older devices. Prosecutors said Prasad exploited his position and conspired with two separate Apple vendors to defraud Apple by “taking kickbacks, stealing parts, inflating invoices and causing Apple to pay for items and services it never received – resulting in a loss to Apple of more than $17 million.”

In addition to engaging in two separate criminal conspiracies with Apple vendors, Prasad also acknowledged that he evaded tax on the proceeds of his schemes, Ramsey said in a press release.

According to the government’s sentencing memorandum, Apple had given Prasad substantial discretion to make autonomous decisions to benefit his employer. “Prasad betrayed this trust, and abused his power to enrich himself at his employer’s expense – all while accepting hundreds-of-thousands of dollars’ worth of compensation from Apple in the form of salary and bonuses,” said Ramsey, who said Prasad also used his insider information regarding the company’s fraud-detection techniques to design his criminal schemes to avoid detection.

The prosecution was the result of an investigation led by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation.

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