* Paul Devine pleads guilty over kickbacks - U.S. Attorney
* Devine worked as a global supply manager at Apple
* Accused of taking kickbacks from suppliers
* Devine "a good man who made a mistake" - defense lawyer
(Adds comments from Devine attorney and Apple, byline)
By Dan Levine
SAN FRANCISCO, Feb 28 A former Apple Inc
(AAPL.O) employee pleaded guilty to multiple criminal counts
after being accused of taking kickbacks from Asian suppliers.
Paul Devine, who worked at the iPhone maker as a global
supply manager, was accused of using his position to pass
confidential information to help suppliers negotiate favorable
contracts with Apple. [ID:nLDE67G029] He worked there from 2005
Apple launched an internal investigation last year and
found a cache of emails between Devine and the suppliers,
according to a civil lawsuit the company filed against Devine.
U.S. prosecutors then obtained an indictment on 23 counts in
Devine pleaded guilty on Monday to wire fraud, conspiracy
and money laundering in a San Jose federal court, the U.S.
Attorney's office announced. He also agreed to forfeit about
$2.28 million in money and property.
"Mr. Devine is a good man who made a mistake, and now he's
trying to make amends," his attorney Raphael Goldman said on
A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's office in San Francisco
declined to comment further.
Sentencing is scheduled for June 6. Devine faces a maximum
prison term of 20 years on the wire fraud and money laundering
counts, but could receive far less time.
An Apple representative declined to comment on the guilty
plea. At the time it filed the civil case against Devine, Apple
said it had "zero tolerance" for dishonest behavior inside or
outside the company.
The civil lawsuit has been on hold pending the outcome of
the criminal prosecution.
The criminal case in U.S. District Court, Northern District
of California is U.S.A. v. Devine, 10-cr-603.
(Reporting by Dan Levine; Editing by Richard Chang)