Business

Executive Steps Down for Review of Apple Kickback Charges

A top executive at JLJ Holdings, the parent company of a Singapore-based Apple supplier named in an alleged kickback scheme, has stepped down from his position "for the time being" as the company pursues an investigation of the charges, it said Thursday.

JLJ Executive Chairman Jacky Chua is the brother-in-law of Andrew Ang, a former employee of JLJ subsidiary Jin Li Mould Manufacturing, one of six suppliers -- including three Singaporean companies -- named in an Apple civil suit against former Apple employee Paul Shin Devine.

"In order to facilitate the impartial review of all activities relating to the Apple claim that may involve the company and its subsidiaries, the company's executive chairman has also voluntarily relinquished all executive duties in the Company for the time being," JLJ said Thursday in a filing to the Singapore stock exchange.

"A thorough and objective review of the situation is being undertaken by an independent legal advisor appointed by the company. The company will continue to make further announcements as may be necessary arising from this process," it said.

In addition to the Apple lawsuit, Ang and Devine were charged in a U.S. indictment for their involvement in a kickback scheme that involved trading confidential information about Apple product plans and supplier prices in exchange for payments of more than US$1 million.

Devine pleaded innocent to the charges in a U.S. court earlier this week. Ang, who's location is not known, remains a fugitive.

In response to the alleged kickback scheme and the involvement of Ang and Jin Li Mould Manufacturing, Chua voluntarily gave a statement to Singapore's Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) regarding the indictment against Ang and Devine, the filing said. It did not say when Chua provided the statement.

On Tuesday, CPIB declined to say whether its pursuing an investigation of the alleged kickbacks. Under Singaporean law, it's illegal for company executives to give or receive bribes and kickbacks. CPIB has the power to conduct searches and make arrests in corruption cases.

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