Former Apple employee sentenced for stealing $17 million
A former Apple employee has been sentenced to three years in prison and must pay back over $19 million in restitution for stealing around $17 million from the tech giant through mail and wire fraud schemes. Dhirendra Prasad, 55, was originally charged in March 2022 and later pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud Apple and related tax crimes back in November last year.
Prasad was employed at the company between 2008 and 2018, mostly working as a buyer in Apple’s global service supply chain, purchasing parts and services from vendors. In his written plea agreement, Prasad admitted he started siphoning money from his employer around 2011 by accepting kickbacks, stealing parts, inflating invoices, and fraudulently charging Apple for goods that were never delivered. He also admitted to evading tax on the proceeds of his schemes and conspiring on these activities with the owners of two vendor companies, who have been charged in separate cases.
Prasad used his knowledge of Apple’s fraud detection techniques to avoid discovery
The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) claims that Prasad exploited his position as a buyer and used insider information regarding Apple’s fraud detection techniques to try and hide his criminal activities. “By virtue of his position at Apple Prasad was given substantial discretion to make autonomous decisions to benefit his employer,” said the DOJ in a statement published on Wednesday. “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.”
Prasad pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to defray the United States. In addition to his three-year prison sentence, Prasad has agreed to pay back $19,270,683 in restitutions — $17,398,104 to Apple and $1,872,579 to the IRS for the tax he owes. He has also been ordered to forfeit over $5.4 million worth of assets that the government has already seized and pay an additional $8.1 million in cash.