Apple’s Former Employee Pleads Guilty To $17 Million Fraud

In connection with schemes that cost the tech giant over $17 million, a former employee of Apple has admitted guilt to counts of mail and wire fraud, the US Attorney general’s Office for California announced on Tuesday.

According to a statement from the US Attorney’s Office, 52-year-old Dhirendra Prasad entered a guilty plea on Tuesday in federal court to counts of conspiracy to conduct theft and conspiracy to mislead the US.

Between December 2008 to December 2018, Prasad worked at Apple in the Global Service Supply Chain division. He was in charge of procuring supplies and services from multiple suppliers.

Apple Sustained Major Loss

Prasad said in a written plea statement that he started defrauding Apple in 2011 by stealing, receiving kickbacks, and fabricating bills. According to the US Attorney’s Office, two co-conspirators who were accused of taking part in Prasad’s scams, Robert Gary Hansen and Don M. Baker, have admitted their involvement.

For one instance, Prasad claimed he ordered motherboards from Apple and had them delivered to Baker’s business, CTrends, in 2013. Baker had the motherboards’ parts removed, mailed the parts back to Apple, and Prasad gave Apple billing bills to pay for the parts. The two divided the money once Apple paid the false invoices. Prasad further acknowledged making unauthorized payments to Prasad’s creditors through Hansen. In order to hide Baker’s illegal payments to Prasad, he set up a shell firm to send false invoices to CTrends. This allowed Baker to claim erroneous tax deductions totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars, costing the IRS more than $1.8 million.

For the mail and theft by deception, as well as the five years for conspiring to defraud the US, Prasad may spend up to 20 years in prison. The hearing to determine his sentence is set for March 14, 2023.

Additionally, according to the US Attorney’s Office, Prasad has consented to forfeit $5 million in assets he bought with the money from his scams.