Ex-Apple employee admits defrauding company of $17M

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A former Apple employee pleaded guilty on Tuesday to defrauding the company out of more than $17 million over a period of seven years, according to federal prosecutors. 

In a plea agreement entered Tuesday, Dhirendra Prasad described the schemes he carried out while he worked as a buyer for Apple's Global Service Supply chain. 

The U.S. Attorney's Office said the 52-year-old arranged to have Apple components shipped to an outside vendor’s warehouse. There, the components were repackaged and sold back to Apple. 

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Prasad admitted the fraud involved "taking kickbacks, inflating invoices, stealing parts and causing Apple to pay for items and services never received," prosecutors said in a statement.

FILE – The Apple logo adorns the facade of a retail store.  ((AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File) / AP Newsroom)

"Prasad admitted these schemes continued through 2018 and ultimately resulted in a loss to Apple of more than $17 million," they said. 

Prasad, of Mountain House, California, entered guilty pleas on multiple counts, including conspiracy to commit fraud and conspiracy to defraud the U.S.

He could face two decades in prison when he is sentenced on March 14, 2023.

An Apple logo hangs above the entrance to the Apple store on 5th Avenue in the Manhattan borough of New York City, July 21, 2015. REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo (REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo / Reuters Photos)

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Prasad was employed at Apple from 2008 through 2018 and his responsibilities involved purchasing parts and services for Apple from vendors. 

According to prosecutors, he began to defraud Apple as early as 2011 and also engaged in tax fraud.

 U.S. prosecutors have charged a former Apple Inc employee with defrauding the iPhone maker out of $17 million in a series of schemes.  (REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo / Reuters Photos)

Prasad also caused a shell company to issue sham invoices to a co-conspirator's company, CTrends, in order to conceal illicit payments to Prasad and to allow the co-conspirator to claim hundreds of thousands of dollars of unjustified tax deductions. Those schemes resulted in an IRS loss of more than $1.8 million. 

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Two of his co-conspirators — outside vendors who did business with Apple — have been charged in separate federal criminal cases.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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