Apple News

Former Apple Employee Charged With $10 Million Fraud

SAN JOSE – A federal criminal case filed Friday in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California charges Dhirendra Prasad with defrauding his former employer Apple, Inc. in an amount over $10 million dollars and with money laundering and tax evasion. The filing was announced by United States Attorney Stephanie M. Hinds and Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) Special Agent in Charge Mark H. Pearson.

The federal government charges Prasad, 52, from Mountain House in San Joaquin County, with five crimes.  In the first count, Prasad is charged with engaging in a conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud from 2013 through January 2019.  In the second and third counts, Prasad is charged with separate conspiracies to launder fraud proceeds.  The fourth count charges Prasad with conspiring to evade a co-conspirator’s tax liabilities for several years, and the fifth count charges Prasad with evading his own income tax liabilities.

In a related case filing, the government alleges that Prasad was employed by Apple from December of 2008 through December of 2018.  For most of that time, Prasad was a “buyer” in Apple’s Global Service Supply Chain and responsible for purchasing parts and services from vendors on Apple’s behalf.  Prasad is alleged to have exploited his position by engaging in multiple different schemes to defraud Apple, including taking kickbacks, stealing parts, and causing Apple to pay for items and services it never received, resulting in a loss of more than $10,000,000. Prasad is also described as evading tax on the schemes’ proceeds, which he also laundered.

Prasad’s alleged co-conspirators are Robert Gary Hansen and Don M. Baker, both of whom reside in the Central District of California.  Hansen and Baker both owned vendor companies that did business with Apple, and the charges allege they each conspired with Prasad to commit fraud and money laundering.  Neither Hansen nor Baker were charged with Prasad, but they were each earlier charged in separate federal criminal cases and they have both admitted their involvement.

In addition, the United States filed a civil forfeiture action related to the criminal charges against Prasad in federal court on September 24, 2021.  In that suit, the United States seeks to forfeit five pieces of real property and a dozen financial accounts traced to Prasad’s crimes.  Those assets – which have an estimated aggregate value of $5,000,000 – have been frozen or otherwise encumbered pursuant to a court-authorized seizure warrant.  The civil forfeiture action remains pending.

Prasad is scheduled to make his initial appearance on the criminal charges in San Jose federal court before United States Magistrate Judge Susan van Keulen on March 24, 2022.

The Information charges Prasad with conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1349.  The maximum statutory sentence of imprisonment for a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1349 is 20 years.  Prasad is also charged with two counts of conspiracy to engage in money laundering in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1956(h), and the maximum statutory sentence of imprisonment for each violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1956(h) is 20 years.  The fourth count against Prasad charges a conspiracy to defraud the United States in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371.  The maximum statutory sentence of imprisonment for a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371 is five years.  Lastly, Prasad is charged with one count of tax evasion in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 7201, which carries a maximum statutory sentence of imprisonment of five years.  Any sentence following a conviction would be imposed by a court only after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.