Suppliers have no comment about Apple con man

It wasn’t a good weekend for Paul Shin Devine, a global manager for Apple who’s now a criminal, but the overseas suppliers involved now have their own problems to deal with.

It turns out one of the guys directly responsible for finding overseas companies to do business with Apple had a little side business of his own, potentially lowering Apple’s bottom line while he lined his pockets with over a million dollars.

Paul Shin Devine was a global supply manager for the electronics firm, until he was arrested late Friday for a whole bunch of charges. Devine faces counts of wire fraud, money laundering, and unlawful monetary transactions.

Devine allegedly provided companies in South Korea, China, and Singapore with confidential information about Apple. Though the exact nature of the sensitive info was not disclosed, the Wall Street Journal reports that having the info at their disposal allowed the companies to sweeten up the terms for their contracts with Apple.

In return, they wired money to Devine’s wife’s bank account in scattered small sums that went unquestioned for the span of more than three years. The issue only came to light when colleagues at Apple happened upon e-mails in Devine’s Hotmail account that were left open on his personal laptop in the office.

PC World reported that Singapore-based Jin Li Mould Manufacturing CEO Andric Ng said, “I can’t comment on anything right now,” and China’s Kaeder Electronics and South Korean company Cresyn also have absolutely nothing to say on the record about this issue.

Devine is due to appear in court today at 1:30, and what he’ll plead is anyone’s guess. However, I don’t know how he’ll be able to defend himself with the mountain of evidence that prosecutors most definitely have.

Sounds like Devine will be going away for quite a long time, and his life is pretty much ruined. Hey, at least he’ll probably get his own footnote in a future business ethics textbook. So it’s not all bad news.