Apple, one of the most powerful and wealthiest companies on the planet, found itself the victim of a bizarre fraud scheme that was perpetrated by one of its former employees.
According to the Washington Examiner, 52-year-old Dhirendra Prasad is now facing a world of legal trouble, including charges for engaging in conspiracy to commit fraud, money laundering, and tax evasion, federal documents revealed, after he was caught in multiple schemes that authorities say cost the company some $10 million.
U.S. Attorney Stephanie Hinds’s office revealed that Prasad had run multiple schemes including stealing parts from the company, having Apple pay for items it never received, and taking lucrative kickbacks.
Prasad, the Associated Press reported, worked as a buyer in Apple’s Global Service Supply Chain department, giving him unfettered access to run the schemes, and run them successfully for years.
Not only was Prasad finally caught for defrauding his employer, but two other vendors that worked closely with Prasad were also charged in their roles in one of his schemes.
The two vendors were identified in the documents as Robert Gary Hansen and Don M. Baker, who were both charged in separate cases.
Due to the nature and seriousness of the case, the U.S. government took civil forfeiture action against Prasad, which included freezing some $5 million of his funds, as well as the seizure of several real estate properties that Prasad presumably purchased with his illegal gains.
“The government is seeking to keep those assets as proceeds of crime, the U.S. Attorney’s office in San Jose said in a news release,” AP reported.
Court date soon
Prasad will soon face the music, as he’s scheduled to make his first federal court appearance in San Jose next Thursday.
“Fraud, money laundering and tax evasion each carry maximum sentences of five to 20 years, but sentencing guidelines and judges’ discretion mean most people convicted of fraud in federal court receive less than the maximum sentence,” AP noted in its report.
Given the numbers involved in Prasad’s fraudulent ventures, it wouldn’t be surprising to see federal prosecutors make an example of his crimes to deter others in similar positions from engaging in such fraud.
The AP noted that it’s unclear whether Prasad has obtained legal counsel for his upcoming hearing.