Pegatron suspends manager accused in Apple scandal

One of Apple’s main suppliers in Taiwan, Pegatron Corporation, has suspended a manager accused in the kickback scandal and opened an internal investigation, it said Tuesday.

Pegatron is connected to the Apple case through a subsidiary company it bought in July 2008, Kaeder Electronics of China. Apple’s complaint, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, says Kaeder began providing former Apple manager Paul Shim Devine in March of 2008, “illicit payments, kickbacks, bribes and other things of value from Kaeder and, in exchange, Devine provided Kaeder with Apple’s confidential information.”

Kaeder is one of several companies alleged in the complaint to have paid Devine a total of more than $1 million in kickbacks over three years in return for information that gave them an edge in winning lucrative supply contracts from Apple.

The complaint names Betty Wu of Kaeder, but Pegatron did not provide a name, simply calling the person “the manager of Kaeder implicated in the alleged scheme” in its statement.

Pegatron said it was “surprised to learn of the alleged conduct” which it found “reprehensible and in conflict with Pegatron’s principles and practices. Pegatron takes these allegations very seriously and does not condone or permit the conduct alleged,” the statement says.

Kaeder has primarily manufactured plastic packages for electronics products for Pegatron, the company said. Pegatron declined any specific comments on the matter aside from the statement.

Pegatron is one of the manufacturing divisions spun-off by Asustek Computer when it restructured to focus more on selling branded electronics.

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