Apple, Business, Companies

"Ang"st at Apple – Who is This Guy?


A fellow by the name of Andrew Ang is causing angst at Apple Computers. It took some doing to track him down. You see, Andrew Ang, odd as it may seem, is a common Chinese name. Perhaps that is why the IRS can?t find him, or at least won?t divulge his whereabouts as they prepare legal proceedings against an Apple manager who had under-the-table dealings with him.

Andrew Ang of Tarantula Blog - Not the guy Apple and IRS are looking for...Picture credit: Andrew Ang
Andrew "Tarantula" Ang of Tarantula Blog – Not the guy Apple and IRS are looking for…

Who is Ang? Well, after some research, we eliminated the Andrew Ang of Malaysia who is a well-known breeder of tarantulas. The world?s largest spiders, although formidable looking, are usually docile, and if they do bite it is not worse than a bee sting. In contrast, our Ang helped take a pretty bad bite out of Apple.

We uncovered a scholarly Andrew Ang – Professor of Business and Economics, Columbia University, New York. He specializes in empirical asset pricing and applications of econometrics to financial problems. Financial problems, oh yeah, that fits the latest Apple tale. Columbia twittered that Professor Ang was part of a group chosen by Norway’s government to evaluate its pension fund. His models of downside investment risk might come in handy for Apple?s investors as they evaluate the implications of the 23-count federal grand jury indictment for wire fraud, money laundering, and kickbacks against one of the company?s middle managers.

A better candidate for Mr. Ang, since rumor has it that the man in question is of Singapore, we could consider Justice Andrew Ang of the Supreme Court in that country. Naw, he?s an unlikely candidate to be involved in illegal activities ? he?s supposed to be one of the good guys. His court oversees civil cases where claims are over S$250,000 [183,445 USD], so the real Mr. Ang may get to meet Judge Ang on his home turf. The Supreme Court also deals with criminal cases which carry the death penalty. But let?s not get melodramatic in this case.

Jin Li, Maker of Apple's "i" peripheralsSo, will the real Andrew Ang please stand up? He is actually one of two sales managers at Jin Li Mould Manufacturing in Singapore. Jin Li is intricately involved in the making of the iPod. Which leads us to the problem which was originally reported by the San Jose Mercury News.

Paul Shin Devine, a senior operations manager for iPod at the well-known Silicon Valley computer company, and Mr. Ang, at the Singapore manufacturing company, are involved in the indictment that spans an elaborate string of US and foreign bank accounts and a front company for receiving the payments.

Devine, of Sunnyvale, California is currently being held by the US Marshals Service.

Devine is accused of passing confidential information to several suppliers of materials designed for Apple’s iPhone and iPod products, in not only Singapore, but also in Taiwan, South Korea, and China.

In return, Apple contends that Devine inappropriately received $1 million, some of which he shared with Ang.

Jin Li Mould Manufacturing logo
Jin Li Mould Manufacturing logo

Jin Li Mould Manufacturing, where Ang is one of 120 employees, has been known for concepts and implementation of high performance precision tools and moulds. Their core products [PDF download] are CPU casings, laptop covers, MP3 casings, audio speakers, earphones, printers, scanners, as well as automotive accessories.

iPod buds manufactured by South Korean Cresyn companyCresyn of Seoul, South Korea will feel the heat in this case as well. Cresyn makes in-ear headphone earbuds with a water drop design for the iPhone. Stereo in-ear earphones for the iPod come in blue, green, pink, red and white, with different sizes of ear plugs. They also manufacture LCD earphones, remote control earphones, a headset with FM Radio, a headset with MP3 player, and Bluetooth headsets. Cresyn promises to "be a reliable company, and a financially sound company." Not sure if they intended the pun in their company profile. However, the latest revelations shed doubt on the financial ethics of some of their employees, or even the company, depending on what comes to light in the upcoming proceedings.

Another company involved in the scandal is Kaedar Electronics in Jiangsu Province, China which is a subsidiary of Pegatron Technology. Kaedar provides contract manufacturing services in injection molding, metal stamping, tool making, assembly, and spray painting. They make cases, housings, enclosures and precision parts for notebook computers, PDAs, LCD monitors, cell phones, and calculators.

After a long battle between the founders of ASUSTeK, the company finally spun off Pegatron, its computer-related contract manufacturing unit, three years ago, while retaining 1.6 billion common shares. Pegatron, with 80,000 employees, is involved in several product lines: motherboards, desktop PCs, notebooks, broadband, wireless systems, LCD TV, game consoles, networking, PBX, and multimedia.

Pegatron, out of Taiwan, reported [in thousands] NTD [New Taiwan Dollars] at 130,105,412 [i.e. 4.07 billion USD] net sales for on their 1Q 2010 i.e. March 2010 financial state
. Makes you wonder how much of that was generated by Kaedar, ending eventually in Devine?s pocket. However, we doubt if the current circumstance will change what Digitimes reported that Apple agreed to have Pegatron manufacture a CDMA version of the iPhone.

Apple isn?t happy with the latest breaking news about their company. A spokesman said, "We have zero tolerance for dishonest behavior inside or outside the company."

By the time you read this bit of background, Devine probably will have begun his journey through the US legal system. On August 16 he appears before the US Northern District Court in San Jose, California. Be prepared for  the news media to flood the Internet with coverage today.