SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korean earphone and headset maker Cresyn said on Tuesday it had not given any improper commissions to an Apple global supply manager charged with accepting kickbacks from Asian companies.
Paul Devine, Apple’s global supply manager, was charged in a U.S. federal grand jury indictment last week with 23 counts of wire fraud, money laundering, conspiracy and accepting kickbacks, court documents showed.
Devine on Monday pleaded not guilty to the charges of accepting kickbacks.
In a separate civil lawsuit, Apple accused Devine of receiving more than $1 million in payments and bribes over several years from companies that supplied iPhone and iPod accessories.
“Devine approached us first and offered to give us business consulting to help advance into the U.S. market,” said an official at Cresyn, which supplies earphones for Apple’s iPod digital music players.
The official declined to be named due to the sensitivity of the issue. He said the firm first met Devine in early 2006 during supply talks with Apple and he proposed consulting services later.
“We accepted his offer and received general information about U.S. markets, and in return we offered him a small consulting fee. But this was based on a legal contract we made with him in 2007,” the official said.
Devine is accused of using his position at Apple to obtain confidential information that he shared with Apple suppliers to help them negotiate favorable contracts with the firm.
He is accused by federal authorities of accepting kickbacks from six Asian firms. Authorities did not name the companies but said they were located in South Korea, China, Taiwan and Singapore.
Reporting by Miyoung Kim; Editing by Jonathan Hopfner and Dhara Ranasinghe