Former Apple employee defrauds company of $17 million, IRS of $1.8 million

Bay City News
Thursday, November 3, 2022
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SAN FRANCISCO -- On Tuesday, Dhirendra Prasad pleaded guilty in federal court for defrauding Apple, Inc. out of more than $17 million, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

The 52-year-old has pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud as well as one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States. Two company owners, Robert Gary Hansen and Don M. Baker, who engaged in business with Apple were also involved in the scheme, being charged in separate federal cases and pleading guilty as well.

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Prasad previously worked for Apple between 2008 and 2018 in their Global Service Supply Chain department. It was through his position at the company that he was able to take kickbacks, inflate invoices, and steal materials. This also resulted in Apple having to pay for items and services that were never received, says the Department of Justice.

The DOJ reports that in 2013, Prasad had motherboards shipped from Apple to Baker's company, CTrends. Baker would then have the components of the motherboards harvested while Prasad arranged for Apple to purchase those same components. The computer giant was essentially being charged for its own parts, meanwhile, Prasad and Baker would split the profit from those fraudulent invoices.

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Similarly, in 2016, Prasad would have components from Apple's inventory sent to Hansen's company, Quality Electronics Distributors, Inc., allowing Hansen to repackage these components and charge Apple for them. The profit from these purchase orders placed by Prasad was also split between the two.

Due to the illegal and illicit payments that were being made in this particular case, the Internal Revenue Service was also defrauded a total of $1.8 million.

The government has already seized $5 million worth of assets from Prasad. If he is found guilty, he will face up to 25 years in prison. Prior to him pleading guilty, he could have faced up to 70 years in federal prison.

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