Former employee admits defrauding Apple of $17 million

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — A former Apple employee pleaded guilty on Tuesday to defrauding the tech giant of more than $17 million over seven years, federal prosecutors said.

In a written plea agreement, Dhirendra Prasad described schemes he implemented while working as a buyer for Apple’s global services supply chain, the US attorney’s office said.

Prasad admitted that the fraud involved “receiving bribes, inflating invoices, stealing parts and charging Apple for items and services never received,” prosecutors said in a statement.

For a scheme, prosecutors said Prasad arranged for the Apple components to be shipped to an outside vendor’s warehouse, where they were reconditioned and eventually sold back to Apple.

“Prasad admitted that these schemes continued through 2018 and ultimately resulted in a loss to Apple of over $17 million,” the statement said.

Prosecutors said Prasad, 52, pleaded guilty to multiple counts, including conspiracy to commit fraud and conspiracy to defraud the United States.

He could face more than 20 years in prison when sentenced next March.

Two of his co-conspirators, outside vendors who did business with Apple, were charged in separate federal cases.

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