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Former Apple employee gets prison term for $17M fraud scheme

A former Apple employee has been sentenced to three years in prison for a fraud scheme that cost the company more than $17 million.

A release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California from Wednesday states that Dhirendra Prasad, a 55-year-old from Mountain House, Calif., pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States in November.

Prasad worked for Apple from December 2008 to December 2018, spending most of the time serving as a “buyer” who was responsible for facilitating the process for Apple to buy parts for warranty repairs on old devices. But he conspired with two Apple vendors to defraud the company by taking kickbacks, stealing parts, inflating billing statements and getting Apple to pay for items services it had not received, according to the release.

Prasad also acknowledged not paying taxes on the profits he made from the scheme, the release says. He was originally additionally charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit money laundering and one count of tax evasion, but they were dismissed at sentencing.

The release states that in addition to his prison sentence, Prasad was ordered to pay more than $17 million to Apple and nearly $2 million to the Internal Revenue Service. He also needed to forfeit more than $5 million in assets that the government had already seized.

He also will serve three years of supervised release once his prison sentence ends.

The release states that Prasad had “substantial discretion” to make his own decisions to help Apple, but he chose to help himself.

“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. Additionally, Prasad used his insider information regarding the company’s fraud-detection techniques to design his criminal schemes to avoid detection,” the release states.

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