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Pegatron suspends exec linked to anti-Apple kickback scam


Pegatron has spoken out once again on its company's role in the kickback scam that allegedly gave overseas suppliers an advantage in negotiations, with the Taiwanese company announcing it has suspended a manager accused of bribing an Apple employee.

The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that a manager with Kaedar Electronics, of which Pegatron is the parent company, was suspended and an investigation is now underway to determine whether the person violated the company's code of conduct. A verdict on the manager's role is said to be expected shortly.

"Pegatron takes these allegations very seriously and does not condone or permit such conduct," the company said in a statement. "Pegatron... is determined to take all necessary and appropriate action."

The report also stated that Pegatron is currently working on a CDMA iPhone for Apple. Various reports have connected Pegatron to a potential Verizon-compatible iPhone recently.

Pegatron's suspensions may go beyond the one manager mentioned in the Journal's story, as Taiwanese industry publication DigiTimes also reported on Wednesday that multiple Kaedar executives have been suspended.

The supplier has said it paid commissions, not kickbacks, to help it compete for orders. On Monday, the company admitted it did pay a brokerage commission to an intermediate trading company — not an individual — between 2005 and 2008. The incident occurred before Pegatron acquired Kaedar, which has supplied iPod packing boxes to Apple since 2005.

Pegatron has actively spoken out on the issue since it was revealed that Paul Devine, an Apple global supply manager, was arrested last week and charged with 23 counts, including wire fraud, kickbacks and money laundering. The supplier has said the kickback scandal will not affect its business with Apple.

On Tuesday, officials with a second supplier, Cresyn, said they met Devine in 2006, and the Apple supply manager allegedly offered consulting services to aid it in its negotiations with Apple. Cresyn, which supplies ear buds that ship with Apple's line of iPods, said it make a "legal contract" with Devine, in which it paid a consulting fee in exchange for "general information about U.S. markets."