Like any other multinational corporations, Apple has been through a lot ever since its inception. The company has faced numerous challenges including frauds of varying types. The giant technological company has learned from its experiences and has kept in place strict regulations and checks to make sure that they are not being victims of fraudulent activities from within and outside the organization. Although Apple has always been aware of scams outside the organization that ruined their name, they were more focused on assuring that no one from inside their organization could betray their trust by outsourcing their secrets or by other means.
However, Dhirendra Prasad, an Indian origin man, has now been convicted of fraud with the giant tech conglomerate. This man had not only managed to get extra cash from his ventures into the criminal world, he also was successful in tricking Apple into thinking nothing was wrong for several years until the fraud as uncovered. Apple has several checks put in place to ensure that such a situation does not arise, but Prasad had it all planned out and used his connections to get knowledge about the company’s methods for detection of fraudulent activities. An investigation by the IRS revealed the criminal side of the ex Apple employee.
Previous frauds and why this was concerning:
This is not the first type of fraudulent activity that Apple has come across, but it would not be wrong to say that this was one which could have impacted them a lot more adversely over the long term. Like other giant corporations Apple had been a victim of Counterfeiting, fake warranty scams, phishing scams, etc. Among other types of frauds, the Tim Cook led company has also been the victim of data breaches and hacking attempts. Such incidents are said to have led to data leaks including customer data and intellectual property of the company.
However, these scams were never significant enough to affect the logistics of the brand. In Prasad’s case, Apple lost millions of dollars over years of fraudulent activity. Although these millions of dollars are not likely to affect the finances of the giant company to a large extent, the more concerning matter is the nature of the fraud. This was an internal fraud which went undetected for numerous years. There are several questions which also arise from the results of the IRS investigation. This could potentially sign to the presence of other such scams which the company was not able to detect. The loopholes in the fraud detection procedures of the company might have benefitted other individuals apart from Prasad. With this discovery, it is more than plausible for the tech giant company to encounter and unveil similar scams that could have drained them of billions of dollars in total.
The Case against Dhirendra Prasad:
The case was registered as a result of an IRS investigation that found red flags in the tax records of Prasad pertaining to his employment at Apple between the years 2008 and 2018. Dhirendra was initially charged with one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud, two counts of conspiracy to commit money laundering, one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and one count of tax evasion. Earlier in November last year, Prasad had pled guilty to the first and fourth count and as let off the other allegations at the time of the judgement. Prasad was responsible to procure equipment for the firm to handle the repairing of products under warranty. As part of his position, Prasad as given the power to make several autonomous decisions to help him work more efficiently. However, Dhirendra used his powers to benefit his own self rather than the company he as employed at. He admitted to overcharging the company for things which were never used and increasing the actual sticker prices on the bills.
The only thing that got him to three years of prison sentence and over $19 million dollars in fine was not paying taxes on the money he earned through his schemes. His case becomes an important lesson for future fraudsters to launder their money using the proper means. However, with actions from Apple to strengthen their financial security and the IRS looking around for similar cases, fraudulent activities are going to be a difficult carrier choice.