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Apple Manager Arrested In Kickback Scheme

timothy posted about 4 years ago | from the market-distortion-field dept.

Businesses 218

pickens writes "A midlevel Apple manager was arrested Friday and accused of accepting more than $1 million in kickbacks from half a dozen Asian suppliers of iPhone and iPod accessories in a federal indictment unsealed and a separate civil suit. Paul Shin Devine, a global supply manager, and Andrew Ang, of Singapore, were named in a 23-count federal grand jury indictment for wire fraud, money laundering and kickbacks. 'Apple is committed to the highest ethical standards in the way we do business,' Apple spokesman Steve Dowling said in a statement. 'We have zero tolerance for dishonest behavior inside or outside the company.' The alleged scheme used an elaborate chain of US and foreign bank accounts and one front company to receive payments, the indictment said, and code words like 'sample' were used to refer to the payments so that Apple co-workers wouldn't become suspicious."

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Memo... (5, Funny)

grub (11606) | about 4 years ago | (#33254464)


You're "dogs don't shit where they eat"-ing it wrong.

Steve

Niggers (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33254486)

The only real question is, will the fines amount to less than the total kickbacks that were received?

Not with Apple (4, Insightful)

jesseck (942036) | about 4 years ago | (#33254566)

We're talking about the organization that got the SWAT team to take back a stolen iPhone... if they can do that, the fines will probably exceed damages. I can't get an school police officer to look at me with a straight face when I tell them my daughter's Hannah Montana Disney MP3 player was taken on the playground.

Re:Not with Apple (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 4 years ago | (#33254692)

You should have said it was a prototype iPod.

Re:Not with Apple (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33254772)

If you told him the device was worth millions of dollars and he believed you, his outlook would change considerably. An officer isn't going to waste time retrieving a $50 item when his costs to the public are $100/hr or more (salary, vehicle, management, etc). Besides, theft is something you have to open a case with the police department for, unless the crime is currently being committed.

Re:Not with Apple (1)

binarylarry (1338699) | about 4 years ago | (#33254980)

You realize the police aren't a for profit organization right?

Re:Not with Apple (1)

mysidia (191772) | about 4 years ago | (#33255046)

The dollar amount of the damage is still a consideration.

They are going to use their budget to go after criminals who kill lots of people or do millions in damage first.

Because companies that millions of damages are done to are taxpayers. And in a better position than others to complain to legislators.

If police don't even bother to investigate a report by Apple of a million dollar theft, it can come back to haunt them. If they do a stellar job, it could also come back in the form of a surprise donation to the police deprt' from the company....

Re:Not with Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33255056)

Have you even met a cop? They just don't respond to instances of petty theft. The police would be swamped, and they receive more publicity for going after the larger crimes (which helps in requesting funding). But if your car was stolen, in many districts a cop will escort you provided you know its location without so much as filing a single form. It's about importance, not profit, and importance is tied to value as well as life.

Re:Not with Apple (1, Informative)

Starfleet Command (936772) | about 4 years ago | (#33255472)

Have YOU ever met a cop? I am a retired Police Officer my friend and we investigated EVERY complaint, no matter how big of small.

Re:Not with Apple (1)

Voulnet (1630793) | about 4 years ago | (#33255318)

I'm not sure about that.

Re:Memo... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33254750)

iEmbezzle

Re:Memo... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33254816)

You're "dogs don't shit where they eat"-ing it wrong. Steve

Sent from my iPhone

heh (-1, Offtopic)

buanzo (542591) | about 4 years ago | (#33254470)

first post?

Re:heh (0, Offtopic)

buanzo (542591) | about 4 years ago | (#33254482)

nope.

Re:heh (1)

Peach Rings (1782482) | about 4 years ago | (#33254550)

Apple has zero tolerance for dishonest behavior inside or outside the company. You'll be hearing from our lawyers shortly.

Re:heh (1, Insightful)

gabrielex (664157) | about 4 years ago | (#33255082)

Hmm what about advertising some pre-existing features as new and innovative (front camera, touch screen, applications), when they're clearly something old and already present since ages on older non Apple phones? What about selling a product with a clear reception defect for 800 bucks? What about selling computers (and well as phones and mp3 players) at twice their market value just because of their brand and not because of their internal hardware (identical to other brands because nowaday based on Intel CPU). Sure they are honest!!! ;-)

highest ethical standards (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33254488)

'Apple is committed to the highest ethical standards in the way we do business,' . That's why we manufacture in China.

Re:highest ethical standards (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33254524)

What does outsourced manufacturing have to do with ethics?

Re:highest ethical standards (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33254534)

slave labor, destroying the environment, etc...

Re:highest ethical standards (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33254752)

End off-shoring now! [youtube.com]

Buying a Nokia soon? (5, Interesting)

Ilgaz (86384) | about 4 years ago | (#33254758)

Nokia is known to be obsessed with environment and living standards of their workers. They are also one of the most truly global thinking companies who cares about cultural diversity.

Not just that, they purchased Qt from Trolltech and spend millions of engineering hours with millions of dollars to open source their key operating system. That massive work also finds its way to Linux/BSD.

The point is, seen anyone giving a fsck lately?

Re:Buying a Nokia soon? (1)

sznupi (719324) | about 4 years ago | (#33254972)

How do you market that? How do you make "investors" care? (nvm how such widespread practices would probably greatly increase the opportunities for investment...though a bit too long term and not within so limited club, I guess)

Re:Buying a Nokia soon? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33255258)

Um, how about, "Investors breathe, too"?

I don't know how much it's worth to them, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33255466)

I didn't know that. But now that I do, it will factor into my future purchasing decisions.

Re:Buying a Nokia soon? (3, Interesting)

X.25 (255792) | about 4 years ago | (#33255478)

Nokia is known to be obsessed with environment and living standards of their workers. They are also one of the most truly global thinking companies who cares about cultural diversity.

Not just that, they purchased Qt from Trolltech and spend millions of engineering hours with millions of dollars to open source their key operating system. That massive work also finds its way to Linux/BSD.

The point is, seen anyone giving a fsck lately?

I know that there are plenty of people living in their small imaginary world, where is everything to them, but there is a real world out there, and it's not playing by geek standards.

In other words, I bought a Nokia phone yesterday. And I'd never change it for any iPhone/Android/WM phone.

Also, I don't wear Nike.

Re:highest ethical standards (4, Insightful)

rotide (1015173) | about 4 years ago | (#33254564)

Maybe the _whole reason_ it's cheaper to do so? Because it's basically akin to slave labor? Shit doesn't get made for pennies when you have a well paid and cared for workforce but it's easy to ignore the realities of really, REALLY, sub par working conditions when you get a toy to play with after you dropped some of your disposable income, isn't it?

Re:highest ethical standards (0, Troll)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 4 years ago | (#33254784)

it's easy to ignore the realities of really, REALLY, sub par working conditions

What's par?

Is it the American standard where working 40 hours in an air-conditioned building, getting paid extra for overtime, and making a minimum of $15,000 a year is barely acceptable?

Or is it the African standard where walking 2 miles to work 100 hours a week sewing clothes in a shack, and making $480 a year is a good job?

In a world with cheap & easy transportation, jobs get outsourced to places where people are willing to work cheaper. If that means they don't get central air conditioning or hourly safety inspections, too bad. Yeah, it's sad that someone might lose a hand or get sick, but until then, they have a job. After that, they have to try and get a different job, doing something that doesn't require a hand. It's callous, but it's true.

If Americans were willing to work cheaper (and were actually allowed to), we might get some jobs coming back. Instead, we get labor unions that argue for high wages and benefits at the cost of actual jobs. Employment should be an agreement exchanging work for pay. In my opinion, all details of that agreement should be negotiable on an individual basis.

</rant>

Re:highest ethical standards (3, Insightful)

WindBourne (631190) | about 4 years ago | (#33254822)

And yet, places like Germany in which they make MORE per hour, work less, have similar productivity are getting jobs there. Hmmm. I wonder why? Because the companies are about where they work at?

Re:highest ethical standards (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 4 years ago | (#33254958)

There are some companies that treat their employees well. I happen to work for one now. If they can afford to stay in business, that's great, and I hope to see more companies follow their practices.

If the companies can't stay in business, then that's too bad. Their employees will have to look elsewhere for employment, and I hope that other companies won't be too broke to hire them.

Re:highest ethical standards (1)

Voulnet (1630793) | about 4 years ago | (#33255328)

Would you be so kind as to tell us the name of your employer?

Re:highest ethical standards (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 4 years ago | (#33255386)

Sorry, but I'd rather not have my Slashdot discussions associated with my employer. Not that I've talked of anything illegal or even distasteful, but I'd rather keep just it separate as a matter of principle. As far as treating employers well, it helps that there are less than 100 employees in total. However, there have already been several discussions on how to keep the environment the same as it grows. As an example, we recently moved into a larger office, which is a part of a big stereotypical corporate office building. Our first company activity was to take the crappy artwork off the walls and replace it with (almost) whatever we wanted.

Re:highest ethical standards (4, Informative)

CRCulver (715279) | about 4 years ago | (#33254852)

If Americans were willing to work cheaper (and were actually allowed to), we might get some jobs coming back. Instead, we get labor unions that argue for high wages and benefits at the cost of actual jobs.

The Nordic countries are passionate about unions, with something like 80% of workers belonging to one (versus 7-12% for American private sector workers), and yet their unemployment figures haven't suffered. Blaming unions is the easy thing to do, but examine the chronology and you'll find that offshoring really took off long after the American labor movement ran out of steam.

Re:highest ethical standards (3, Interesting)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 4 years ago | (#33254922)

The labor unions aren't inherently the problem. It's what they argue for (in America, at least).

For example, I'd have no problems with a union arguing that the CEO can't make more than 10 times the average starting salary, or that workers must be allowed to take a significant (but reasonable) amount of unpaid leave without risking their job.

I have a problem with unions requiring a certain minimum salary, paid vacations, and other amenities that only serve to cost the employers money without increasing productivity.

In my opinion, all details of that agreement should be negotiable on an individual basis.

If employees want to group their negotiations, that's fine. Don't apply the terms of one employee's contract to someone else. Don't require workers to participate in a strike if they don't want to. Don't require union membership. Don't drive the employer to bankruptcy pushing for ever-higher wages.

Re:highest ethical standards (4, Informative)

CRCulver (715279) | about 4 years ago | (#33255006)

I have a problem with unions requiring a certain minimum salary, paid vacations, and other amenities that only serve to cost the employers money without increasing productivity.

Again, that's what you get in the Nordic countries, and it doesn't seem to have much of an effect on employment figures.

In fact, the first item, minimum wages, falls entirely to collective bargaining between unions and industries, at least here in Finland. There is no government-mandated minimum wage. Result? Even the most lowly of cleaners make around $10/hour, with slightly higher wages for night shifts and double pay for Sundays.

No one forces you to join unions here, or participate in strikes. The union's got your back even if you don't want to pay dues (which are minimal), but of course you do miss out in voicing your concerns in collective bargaining if you don't join.

The second item, paid vacations, have little to do with unions in most of the developed world because it is mandated by law. Unions might be responsible for the extra 10 days at some places around here, but almost a month of paid leave is universal across the European Union.

Strange that you think leisure time doesn't increase employee productivity. Exhausted employees don't work as effectively as content ones.

Re:highest ethical standards (1)

DaHat (247651) | about 4 years ago | (#33255198)

No one forces you to join unions here

You've never heard of a closed shop, have you? They are plentiful in non 'right to work states'... and that ignores the whole 'card check' issue in Washington right now.

The union's got your back even if you don't want to pay dues (which are minimal),

Depends on the union and shop... in quite a few places because the union does the negotiations for wages (whether you like or not, wheather you are a member or not) may negotiate things in such a way that you are required to pay a 'fair share' fee to the union... often ~70% (which is the % for non-union teachers in MN when last I checked, as one example) of the total cost of dues to the union for members of it.

70% of full union dues is NOT minimal when you want nothing to do with said union.

Re:highest ethical standards (0)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 4 years ago | (#33255212)

It's important to sever the connection between unions and company environments. A good company can provide a good environment without a union. A bad company will find holes in the union deals, and exploit them until the next contract, driving costs up.

Be glad you don't have forced unions. There are some that aren't so lucky [nrtw.org] . Here (in the USA, in a non-right-to-work state), it's possible to enter an industry where the only choices are living in poverty or living in deeper poverty. If you join the union, you have to follow their rules for bargaining, which means you can't sell your labor for less than anyone else. If you don't join the union, you'll be making less (though have a job), but you still have to pay some of the union dues anyway.

There is effectively very little difference between what's mandated by labor laws and what's mandated by contract laws when there are unions involved. Unions have the power and money to pay lobbyists to influence laws.

Leisure time itself does not increase productivity. Leisure time often improves morale, and improved morale increases productivity. Personally, I'd rather see an employer voluntarily do other things to improve morale. If it makes sense for the company to offer much higher pay, that works. Paid vacation? Sure, but I won't take much. On-site child care? Of course. A weekly company-wide happy hour at the local bar, with pay? Why not? If that's the kind of thing that they need to do to attract the employees they want, why shouldn't a company offer anything they can afford to?

Again, I don't have any problem with labor unions inherently. I just don't like the excessive pressure they use to enforce their own particular idea of "good".

Re:highest ethical standards (1)

Macrat (638047) | about 4 years ago | (#33255102)

I have a problem with unions requiring a certain minimum salary, paid vacations, and other amenities that only serve to cost the employers money without increasing productivity.

I guess you didn't hear about the teachers' union demanding medical coverage for viagra.

Check corporate officer pay instead (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33255474)

"Blaming unions is the easy thing to do" - by CRCulver (715279) on Sunday August 15, @12:02AM (#33254852) Homepage

Agreed, because corporate officer pay is outrageous in larger corporate bodies (millions per week, and yes, I have seen payrolls in my time the last nearly 17 yrs. as an information systems worker who has done payrolls programming and reporting in numerous organizations). Fact is, quite a few corporate officers' personal pay on an annual INDIVIDUAL BASIS (e.g. CEO) often exceeds the entire payroll outlay of entire smaller companies. This is the insane fact no one ever seems to mention or note, and I often wonder why? Yea, right. We all know why and especially in publicly traded companies. It's because no one really gives a shit in publicly traded companies. It's not like how the Ford family looks over FORD MOTOR COMPANY or how Bill Gates looked after MICROSOFT when he was at the wheel there. They actually gave a damn about how the place is/was run (respectively) because their names and legacy were in their corporations. You don't see that in publicly held/traded companies. All those are is money making machines for stockholders (and mostly for those with preferred stock, such as upper mgt. and board of directors members as a couple examples thereof), and nothing more. So they cut corners like mad in product quality, sell consumers crap with a warranty on it (a warranty on a piece of shit doesn't make it any less of a piece of shit either), and underpay production workers (slaves is more like it) like crazy, those they have not managed to offshore/outsource that is to avoid insurances & higher pay levels that is, which only helps contribute to the erosion of a middle class in the USA so you only have the "haves/big money" and "have nots/no money-poor", which destroys any possibility of an "economy" (Peter buys from Paul, who pays Henry etc. & back around again type symbiosis), and which also makes it impossible to use your so-called "legal rights", because in case you have not noticed? Attorneys co$t, and cost a lot. This is an impossibility for the less fortunate, even though you're told you have legal rights (especially if indigent, unless in a court of law for a crime you're accused of then you get an attorney serving out his "sentence" of having to do a bit of time for society, not that they give a hoot then, though). So if someone slanders you for example? Good luck taking care of it "gratis" even though you have been blatantly wronged and when you have a definite winner of a case and your so-called 'legal rights'. No, the illusion of "equality" and "freedom" in the USA?? It's a pack of thinly veiled lies at best, and the "controllers" (the wealthy in large corporations and banks mostly) know it, and they use it like mad to conceal what is really fascism in the USA, today.

Re:highest ethical standards (1)

sznupi (719324) | about 4 years ago | (#33254872)

There might be another side of that overseas labour. Yes, since they are willing to work much cheaper, they have that work. But going further, cheaper - possibly a work of a type which doesn't have to be optimal in benefitting their place much by itself; but can easily draw people away from those which could, almost via modern day frippery.
Who knows if/in how many places the latter is the case...

Re:highest ethical standards (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 4 years ago | (#33255028)

My guess would be "not many".

If a rural village has a factory producing widgets for the Global Widget company, that rural village is exchanging one resource (labor) for another (money). As in all economics, they can then exchange that resource for another (food/amenities/whatever) produced elsewhere.

Depending on the location, it may even be preferable to work on widgets than on farming. In Niger, for example, farmland is scarce, and a decent crop is ever more rare. Nigeriens working in a foreign-run factory could make enough to import food from less arid regions. A failed crop doesn't have to mean a village's starvation.

That more humid region, in turn, can use their new income to purchase other goods from elsewhere. Given a wide enough scope, everyone profits by providing what is needed. The advantage might be heavily skewed, but there aren't (or at least, should not be) any purely one-way deals.

Re:highest ethical standards (1)

sznupi (719324) | about 4 years ago | (#33255064)

That omits again how said labor generally has similar end value but is not priced similarly; which after all could also be the case for the place which would "feed" the factory one.

There might be somewhat more frippery in making and selling fruits, etc. (and not very optimal ones when it comes to farming methods and consequences) via the "global company."

Re:highest ethical standards (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33255274)

I'll say it specifically, then: things that can be produced at lower cost can be sold at lower prices. While on the topic of obvious things, people generally don't like paying extra for things with no added value, so they're often willing to sacrifice local loyalty for profit.

Why does it matter if some particular product isn't a bare essential for life? The entire concept of trade is based around exchanging something you don't want for something you do want. If a Nigerien sells an apple to a tourist, then Niger has gotten rid of an apple, and gained a bit of money. That money can go toward building a new granary. Now they've built a granary out of an apple. Nothing is useless. Some uses are just not obvious.

Re:highest ethical standards (1)

sznupi (719324) | about 4 years ago | (#33255394)

This isn't about what is wanted or not wanted; more about what works better or worse. Look at stupid SUV uptake and collapse of automotive industry for more at home example.

Re:highest ethical standards (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33254970)

.

Look to taxes ... 21% average government controlled
Housing ... 35% average government controlled interest rates and thus supply/demand effects on price

Transport ... 20% average government controlled interest rates and fuel taxes and thus price

those are percentages of average worker's paychecks ... 76% of income. per US census data.

A country that can keep all those costs low can allow hourly wages to be 'shocking low' compared to another country that encourages those costs to go up.

Re:highest ethical standards (3, Interesting)

epine (68316) | about 4 years ago | (#33254996)

If Americans were willing to work cheaper (and were actually allowed to), we might get some jobs coming back. Instead, we get labor unions that argue for high wages and benefits at the cost of actual jobs. Employment should be an agreement exchanging work for pay. In my opinion, all details of that agreement should be negotiable on an individual basis.

I'm no fan of unions in their modern guise as bargaining collectives, but in the early days unions made tremendous contributions to workplace safety (even matters as small as functional fire escapes). Still, it surprises me that your rant makes no acknowledgement whatsoever of having encountered a positive argument on the validity of unionization. It's clear that some powerful unions overstayed their welcome, and damaged their membership through excessive demands. No organizational structure is perfect. Union leaders make good coin, and sometimes succumb to the temptation to justify their fat pay packet by engaging in brinkmanship negotiation tactics. It takes an extremely secure leader to pocket a fat pay cheque and do nothing, even where that's the best course of action.

On the wage front, it's fairly orthodox among modern economists to believe that a minimum wage does more harm that good to low income earnings (by making it impossible for many to get a job at all).

On the other side of the zinc coin, it's already the case that many companies view minimum wage earners as a pool of disenfranchised schleps who wouldn't know their legal rights if bitten on the backside. Many rights in America exist only if you're wealthy enough to (credibly) threaten to enforce them. Even small-claims court is daunting for someone at a sixth grade literacy level who grew up in an Elbownian-speaking household. It's true the disenfranchised could pool their resources together to protect their rights, in a process resembling unionization, with no fear of reprisals as they work the bugs out of their collaborative process. I've always thought that shit flows down hill well enough on its own accord without so many eager and active helping hands. The reason many economic theories don't work out in practice as advertised is that in much of America, shit flows down hill in pressurized pipelines. Discussions on how to reduce the pipeline pressure lead to questions of civil society, a total non-starter in present day America. First reduce the pipeline pressure, then eliminate minimum wage. In that order, I think it would work.

Is there a way to eliminate the minimum wage to reap the theoretical economic benefits without hanging a "kick me" sign on the bottom rung of the employment ladder? Still haven't figured this out. I'm not against two year apprenticeships at a wage lower than the current minimum, as more of a temporary kick-me sign, though it would surely be abused in some quarters.

Your African aphorism is a bit of red herring. By the time a country has the social infrastructure to engage in productive international trade, the standard of living is already rising abruptly. Ten to twenty years later, not so cheap any longer, and maybe not a bargain at all in relative productivity. I believe the standard of living in Mexico is now comparable to the standard of living I experienced growing up in Canada, long ago.

Usually after an abrupt rise in standard of living a nation faces a painful round of internal change before resuming rapid growth. Even Japan had a major hiccup after achieving American affluence until an old custom regarding financial reporting shell games was finally dismantled.

What I'd like to hear from Apple is that they have canned all the corrupt vendors who went along with the other side of the illicit transactions. That would send a strong message that they mean business on ethical procurement. Merely sacking the individuals with their hands caught in the cookie jar is 99% business as usual.

Re:highest ethical standards (1)

malkman (539215) | about 4 years ago | (#33255510)

You seem to be just jumping at the bit to lose your hand in the workplace

Re:highest ethical standards (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33254786)

If you don't like it, stand up and stop it. [youtube.com]

Re:highest ethical standards (2, Interesting)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 4 years ago | (#33255124)

Taking advantage of the highest technological systems in the world, and at the same time exploiting poor peasants who will work for pennies per day just seems terribly unethical. Face it - without the infrastructure provided by past generations of American workers, NONE of today's name-brand manufacturers would be where they are today.

Think I'm wrong? Fine - take yourself to Africa, with nothing more than you can carry on an airplane and inside your head, and set up shop to compete with Apple.

What's that you say? You can't find people who are educated highly enough in the fields that you need? You can't find an honest government that will support your endeavor? You can't find logistics? You can't even find a reliable power supply for your plant? Well - imagine that.

The fact is, various populations around the world have worked for generations to provide the necessary infrastructure for Apple and other corporations to do what they do. Apple (and others) takes full advantage of that infrastructure, and returns little to nothing to maintaining that infrastructure.

Unethical? Of course it is.

Re:highest ethical standards (2, Insightful)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 4 years ago | (#33255460)

Taking advantage of the highest technological systems in the world, and at the same time providing employment for poor peasants who will work for pennies per day...

Seems a little different now, doesn't it? All economic exchanges are based on exploiting others. You go to the store, and con the innocent shopkeeper to give you a gallon of milk for only $2. Meanwhile, the shopkeeper sells off one of his many gallons of milk to some schmuck for $2. At the end of the exchange, you both say "thank you", because you both feel like you've gotten the good end of the deal.

Rural villages in third-world countries making parts for American companies get the money they need to build their own infrastructure. Sure, they're getting paid less than a dollar a day, but the lineman installing electrical service is also getting paid that same rate. Everything just costs less there, for now, so everyone's happy. Except in extreme circumstances, nobody feels that they're getting exploited.

Re:highest ethical standards (3, Insightful)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 4 years ago | (#33255494)

Of course it looks different when you change a couple key words. It's called "spin", and it's practiced daily by the newspapers and other media.

"Providing employment" suggests that people who had nothing can now make purchases, such as housing, automobiles, clothes, etc. In fact, "providing employment" often translates to a marginally better diet, and increased chances of survival. I point to Africa as a prime example. I'm quite sure that you can use Google to locate any number of stories about Gap jeans and other factories located in Africa. If anything, the overall quality of life has been degraded in some of those towns. Entire villages have been overwhelmed with unregulated refuse dumps, and their populations have been reduced to scavenging the dumps for survival.

China has it's own towns that have been inundated with waste dumps. I saw one set of photos from China of a home that nestled between piles of scrap and refuse, pretty much lost to view from any other home.

You call it "providing employment", I call it exploitation.

Re:highest ethical standards (2, Insightful)

rtaylor (70602) | about 4 years ago | (#33254556)

There are more ethical business people in China than the United States. There's lots more unethical ones too.

Everything you use are made in Switzerland? (1, Insightful)

Ilgaz (86384) | about 4 years ago | (#33254738)

Dear AC,

It is your type who goes to newegg.com, set the sorting to cheapest to most expensive and pick the cheapest one.

Apple could be hypocrite but people buying things who are just 10 dollars cheaper and bitching/whining as AC or some chit chat at Starbucks are more disgusting.

Re:Everything you use are made in Switzerland? (3, Informative)

WindBourne (631190) | about 4 years ago | (#33254810)

Hmmm. Apple charges top dollars and nobody gripes. Kind of kills your theory. The simple fact is, that every company who has moved their production from USA, EU, and Japan to China have taken a major hit in quality and ppl are tired of it.

And when I shop, I do look at where it is made at. I have no real issue paying 10-20, even 100% more for better quality products.

Re:Everything you use are made in Switzerland? (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | about 4 years ago | (#33254862)

No, Monster Cable charges top dollar and everyone gripes.

Apple's products really don't cost that much more.

Re:Everything you use are made in Switzerland? (1)

cgenman (325138) | about 4 years ago | (#33254886)

At this point, who hasn't moved their production from USA, EU, and Japan? I know there are cars, some food products, and really, really big things built here. But what (brands or genres of stuff) are still built in the US or Europe or Japan?

I don't mean this facetiously, I simply don't know.

Re:Everything you use are made in Switzerland? (1)

Kitkoan (1719118) | about 4 years ago | (#33254916)

Cowon [cowon.com] (english site [jetaudio.com] makes music players and mini-tablets that are made in South Korea. They are also some of the best on the market, but tend to be harder to find/buy due to their lack of marketing and they are a Korean company, with very little to no North American market visibility.

Re:Everything you use are made in Switzerland? (1)

sznupi (719324) | about 4 years ago | (#33254920)

Shouldn't be too hard finding quite a few examples. Nokia is not abad one - actually owning around a dozen of their manufacturing facilities, by far most of them not in China, half of them in the EU; there's even one quite close to Cupertino...
And I'm not sure if you should even really ask about Japan.

Re:Everything you use are made in Switzerland? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33254994)

Sandpaper, at least the industrial stuff. Grit comes from Europe, then the rolls are cut down and coated with adhesive/velcro in the US. It's actually cheaper than importing the finished product.

Re:Everything you use are made in Switzerland? (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 4 years ago | (#33254976)

Apple charges top dollars and nobody gripes. Kind of kills your theory.

We're talking about when Apple are buying, not selling.

Want to fail comprehension? There's an app for that!

Re:highest ethical standards (4, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | about 4 years ago | (#33254870)

That's why we manufacture in China.

You say that like it's a bad thing. People take factory jobs in China for the same reason that they take any job anywhere else in the world: it beats the alternatives. If Apple pulled out of China, that's a couple hundred thousand people out of work. If the rest of the global electronics industry did likewise, we're talking tens of millions.

Perhaps you should take a moment to google "comparative advantage". Then, maybe you should look into how manufacturing is raising the standard of living in China, just like it did here when we went through the industrial revolution.

-jcr

Re:highest ethical standards (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33255166)

'Apple is committed to the highest ethical standards in the way we do business,' . That's why we manufacture in China.

Name an electronic device not made in China?

Wrong codeword used (1)

jewishbaconzombies (1861376) | about 4 years ago | (#33254510)

Shouldn't have called it iGraft on the phone or the emails.

The Good News (5, Informative)

bacon volcano (1260566) | about 4 years ago | (#33254536)

Looks like a Global Supply Manager position just became available!

http://jobs.apple.com/index.ajs?BID=1&method=mExternal.showJob&RID=58206&CurrentPage=7 [apple.com]

Re:The Good News (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33255070)

Interesting... I don't suppose they'd mind if I got the job and secretly arranged to get some kickbacks in exchange for leaking/selling some information to some suppliers? <G>

Apple Manager Arrested In Kickback Scheme (5, Informative)

omar.sahal (687649) | about 4 years ago | (#33254542)

The indictment describes a scheme in which Devine used his position at Apple to obtain confidential information, which he transmitted to Apple suppliers, including Ang. In return, the suppliers and manufacturers paid Devine kickbacks, which he shared with Ang. The information enabled the suppliers to negotiate favorable contracts with Apple, according to the indictment.

In case you wanted to know what the scam was, and not read the article.

Re:Apple Manager Arrested In Kickback Scheme (1)

nacturation (646836) | about 4 years ago | (#33254672)

So shouldn't he be complimented for daring to Think Different?

Re:Apple Manager Arrested In Kickback Scheme (4, Interesting)

Macrat (638047) | about 4 years ago | (#33255112)

So shouldn't he be complimented for daring to Think Different?

Actually, it's not that different in Silicon Valley. There's an exec from Fry's Electronics going to jail for doing something similar and blowing it all in Vegas.

Wow (1, Interesting)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about 4 years ago | (#33254568)

I am amazed (and pleased) that apple care about this. In most places I have worked this is either accepted or actively encouraged. When I worked for Vic Roads [vic.gov.au] the CEO signed a big vehicle fleet outsourcing deal, then retired and jumped straight into a job with the new operator. The general feeling was "meh".

Re:Wow (1)

CG_Man (993435) | about 4 years ago | (#33254926)

What I'd like to know is when Apple turned on their "zero tolerance" in this case. Was it before or after the feds lowered the boom on the manager in question?

Somewhat inevitable? (1, Insightful)

sznupi (719324) | about 4 years ago | (#33254590)

Where there is excessive control, there's plenty of place for corruption/etc.

Re:Somewhat inevitable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33254686)

I see the Apple shills are out in force with mod points.

Re:Somewhat inevitable? (2, Insightful)

twidarkling (1537077) | about 4 years ago | (#33254884)

While I detest Apple's products and tactics as a company, I don't think they're any more (or less) prone to corruption than any other company. So, either it's specifically and unrealistically Apple-bashing (there's so many better reasons), or it's a condemnation of government intervention in business (the excessive control), or it's a condemnation of EVERY business. All three of those are flamebait/trolling.

Re:Somewhat inevitable? (0)

sznupi (719324) | about 4 years ago | (#33254956)

Keyword being "excessive"; you use it yourself in one place ffs...

Re:Somewhat inevitable? (3, Insightful)

nacturation (646836) | about 4 years ago | (#33254918)

Where there is excessive control, there's plenty of place for corruption/etc.

So a complete lack of control would lead to few places for corruption? Your argument makes absolutely no sense.

Re:Somewhat inevitable? (1)

sznupi (719324) | about 4 years ago | (#33254940)

So, how hard was it to miss "excessive"? (and it does work like that; I had plenty examples, in a place formerly behind the Iron Curtain...)

Re:Somewhat inevitable? (1)

Kitkoan (1719118) | about 4 years ago | (#33255042)

Where there is excessive control, there's plenty of place for corruption/etc.

So a complete lack of control would lead to few places for corruption? Your argument makes absolutely no sense.

I think he meant excessive control by one person (Jobs). When there is too much control by one person your more likely to see corruption because your stuck with the whims that one person where as if there are many people in control they are more likely to debate amongst themselves and see more of the positive/negatives of suggestions and ideas. So if the one person who controls too much says "no" to your idea that your entire department thinks is amazing then they are more likely to be more corrupt, and since they are doing something they shouldn't be doing why not make some extra cash on the side since they feel its not going to be noticed anyways.

back dated options, anyone? (5, Insightful)

haystor (102186) | about 4 years ago | (#33254614)

'We have zero tolerance for dishonest behavior inside or outside the company.'

*cough*
back dated options
*cough*

Re:back dated options, anyone? (1)

anethema (99553) | about 4 years ago | (#33254924)

What do you want them to say in a PR statement?

"Hey it happens guys. Comonnnnn <arms moving back and forth>"

but no zero tolerance for Foxconn? (1, Insightful)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | about 4 years ago | (#33254618)

but no zero tolerance for Foxconn?

Re:but no zero tolerance for Foxconn? (0, Troll)

rotide (1015173) | about 4 years ago | (#33254642)

I have a feeling Apple only cares because at some point in the past someone was going to find out about the deal and Apple simply didn't want the negative publicity. If it was going to stay a "don't ask, don't tell" "secret", we wouldn't be commenting on this story right now. Lets face it, more profit is a good thing for all Apple employees and shareholders. Lets also face the fact that most businesses would probably do the same damn thing.

Re:but no zero tolerance for Foxconn? (2, Insightful)

omar.sahal (687649) | about 4 years ago | (#33254684)

most businesses would probably do the same damn thing.

What give out confidential information about there own company so their suppliers could get better deals. Or do you mean the suppliers paying the bribes for inside information, that would make more sense; you where't clear.

Re:but no zero tolerance for Foxconn? (-1, Troll)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 4 years ago | (#33254728)

But more (off-the-books) profit for the middle manager means less profit for the execs and shareholders. That kickback money could have been collected properly through higher product prices instead, and could mean more hookers and blow, jet fuel, and solid gold yacht decals for those at the top. There is more than PR to be lost here...

Re:but no zero tolerance for Foxconn? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33255078)

Noone at Foxconn has a compatible liver.

Re:but no zero tolerance for Foxconn? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33255378)

You mis-interpret things. It's zero-tolerance for those who get caught.

As long as your do business in Asia, there are kickbacks for someone. Even the receptionist gets a kickback from the guy she called to fix the door handle. That's just how things are done.

Outsourcing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33254624)

Isn't outsourcing employees really a kickback scheme?

White iPhone mystery solved? (3, Interesting)

Ilgaz (86384) | about 4 years ago | (#33254718)

For me, this explains the white iPhone mystery. It wasn't about the "perfect white tone", it was connected to this guy (IMHO who is doomed) and material manufacturers. I always wondered how Apple, the Apple can't get a manufacturer to produce some tone of white for a device people line up for. It happens to small companies/single designers all the time but not to Apple sized companies.

There was something really mysterious about that white iphone and I think it is connected to this guy and the whole setup.

I think, as it hasn't been settled silently, this thing will be huge soon. BTW; at first read you think like some "cover designer" companies etc. involved, no they talk about the actual device suppliers.

Re:White iPhone mystery solved? (2)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about 4 years ago | (#33254808)

Sorry I don't get you on this. Can you clarify what the White iPhone mystery was?

Re:White iPhone mystery solved? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33254848)

It was white! No duh!!

Re:White iPhone mystery solved? (1)

cgenman (325138) | about 4 years ago | (#33254902)

The iPhone 4 was also supposed to come in White. At first, it was to come at the same time. Then "soon" after the black version. Now it is even later, as it is supposedly getting the rumored new iPhone 4 (now without terrible antenna) treatment.

Re:White iPhone mystery solved? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33254858)

There was something really mysterious about that white iphone and I think it is connected to this guy and the whole setup.

Nah, the guy was just providing outside suppliers with Apple confidential info in exchange for kickbacks. When you're bidding for a big contract, it can be worth a hell of a lot of money to know what your competitors' bids are, for example. With the sheer volume of business Apple's doing, I'd be very surprised if this is the only guy getting money from vendors under the table.

Re:White iPhone mystery solved? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33254986)

What you said made no sense whatsoever, so I will add a more plausible idea:

Apple delayed the white iPhone4 because it's a popular color, expecting double the sales to some customers who orgasm over the thought of OMG!White!.

Or the most likely:

Apple fucked up.

There's plenty of place for corruption (1)

Aarom (1878842) | about 4 years ago | (#33254730)

There's plenty of place for corruption.

So are like singapores asians or what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33254798)

What are sinapores? Are they asian or maybe mexican or what? How can you tell one from the another?

Re:So are like singapores asians or what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33255174)

They're kinda like Indians. Engish language in the majority, with some Spanish thrown in the mix. The Engish ones are the snooty ones with the bad teeth, and the Spanish ones are the drug dealers and pimps. They all secretly want to be Canadians.

inside or outside the company? (-1, Flamebait)

ChipMonk (711367) | about 4 years ago | (#33254820)

You mean they won't tolerate dishonest behavior among officials in Tooele County, Utah?

Oh, you mean the people they do business with. So, does that mean they won't tolerate dishonest behavior from any of their customers?

Apple, our self-appointed Messiahs. That reality distortion field is a lot stronger than I thought.

How is this wire fraud? (1)

mysidia (191772) | about 4 years ago | (#33255084)

Did he lie to the suppliers, leak fake information to get the kickbacks?

Or is this really about him using a code word and referring to payments as 'samples' ?

Misread at first (1)

eonwing (934274) | about 4 years ago | (#33255086)

At first, it looked like it said "a medieval Apple manager" and I was thinking, wow, how mean was this guy?

No ethics violations - really? (1, Insightful)

bm_luethke (253362) | about 4 years ago | (#33255438)

Before Apple makes such a statement about not accepting un-ethical business practices they may want to revisit the whole Jobs/Wozniak deal and why the latter "left" the company.

But of course Apple is the Eco Friendly Company that Does the Right Thing whenever they can! There is nary an anti-competitive bone in their body and they are fully Open and on for the ride in Open Source technologies!

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