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Former Apple employee pleads guilty to conspiring to defraud company

SAN JOSE (CBS SF) – A former Apple employee pleaded guilty Tuesday to a charge of conspiring to defraud the company and the United States through multiple schemes, the Department of Justice (DOJ) said. 

Mountain House resident Dhirendra Prasad, 52, testified he took kickbacks, inflated invoices, and stole Apple parts while he was employed at Apple from 2008 to 2018. His responsibilities included purchasing parts and services for Apple from Vendors.

"Prasad admitted he began to defraud Apple as early as 2011 by taking kickbacks, inflating invoices, stealing parts, and causing Apple to pay for items and services never received," a DOJ statement said. "Prasad admitted these schemes continued through 2018 and ultimately resulted in a loss to Apple of more than $17 million."

The examples of Prasad's schemes that the DOJ provided, including one in 2013 where he used Apple funding to buy motherboards that were sent to CTrends, a company owned by Prasad's friend Don Baker, who had the motherboards stripped of parts, which Prasad then bought again through Apple. Another one saw Prasad making Apple pay twice for components by using another friend's company to repackage the parts. In total, the DOJ said these schemes resulted in an IRS loss of more than $1.8 million.

The department said Prasad forfeited $5 million-worth of assets as part of his punishment.

Prasad pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. He also pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, which has a 5-year maximum sentence.

The judge scheduled Prasad's sentencing for March 14 of next year.

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