Author: Perez Clark
According to the California Department of Justice, Dhirendra Prasad, an Apple employee for nearly 10 years, has confessed to mail and wire fraud after stealing over $17 Million from the tech company.
Former Apple Employee Admits Defrauding Company of $US17 Million.
On Tuesday, Dhirendra Prasad, 52, pleaded guilty in Federal court to fraud and conspiracy to trick the United States. These charges were raised in light of a series of laundering schemes Prasad operated to illegally profit from his former employer, Apple.
In his plea agreement which shows that he worked under Apple from 2008-2018, Mr. Prasad detailed the scams he carried out while serving as a buyer for Apple’s Global Service Supply Chain.
At that time, he was responsible for purchasing parts and services for the company from other vendors.
He also revealed his two co-conspirators, Don M. Baker and Gary R. Hansen, who reside in the Central District of California.
Mr. Prasad explains that both Hansen and Baker owned vendor companies that engaged in fraudulent schemes.
In the wake of Mr. Prasad’s prosecution, the federal court has summoned Hansen and Baker in separate cases. They have also confessed and pleaded guilty to being involved with the Apple scams.
Prasad’s Illicit Schemes
Mr. Prasad admits having begun cheating Apple in 2011 by stealing parts, taking kickbacks, inflating invoices, and charging the company for products never received. Mr. Prasad has already told prosecutors that his schemes ran through 2018 and cost Apple $17 Million.
Also, Mr. Prasad told the court that in 2013 he organized a parts shipment from Apple to a Nevada-based Quality Electronics Distributions, Inc. warehouse that Mr. Hansen managed.
He would proceed to create purchase orders for the parts. Mr. Hansen would receive the shipments, unpackage the parts, wrap them up in new packaging and send them back to Apple’s warehouse. Hansen would then follow up and send an invoice to Apple, forcing the company to repay for its own items, then they would then split the money.
In another scheme, Prasad explains that he arranged for motherboards to leave Apple’s warehouse and be shipped to CTrends, Mr. Baker’s employer.
Mr. Baker will then cull the motherboards while Mr. Prasad issues purchase orders for the parts.
Mr. Baker would ship the harvested parts to Apple while CTrends sent invoices to Apple. After payment confirmation from Apple, Mr. Prasad and Mr. Baker would share the money.
The U.S govt. has ordered a civil forfeiture action, forcing Mr. Prasad to submit all assets he purchased with the stolen funds. On Tuesday, Mr. Prasad accepted the order to forfeit his properties, estimated to be over $5 Million. Following Mr. Prasad’s plea of conspiracy to commit fraud, the former Apple employee is expected to get a minimum of 20 years sentence. In addition, Mr. Prasad pleaded guilty to conspiracy to deceive the US, a count which carries a five years sentence. Mr. Prasad’s court hearing is scheduled for March 14, 2023. Until then, he will not be held in custody.