Apple manager accused of taking backhanders

An Apple employee is due to appear in court today accused of taking half a million dollars in bungs from Asian suppliers.

According to a report in the Financial Times, Apple supply manager Paul Devine is accused of supplying several suppliers with inside information which could help them secure lucrative contracts to manufacture Apple-branded headsets for the company's portable media gadgets like the iPod and the iPhone.

Device allegedly coached a number of companies, including Taiwanese tech giant Asustek, on how to get into Apple's good books and received payments of more then $500,000 which were laundered through bank accounts in his wife's name.

Apple apparently rumbled the employee when it snooped on e-mails found on a company laptop, one of which detailed a 'consulting services agreement' which gave the Asian companies access to Apple product roadmaps and sales forecasts in exchange for monthly payments of $6,000.

Devine, who has reportedly worked for the Cupertino company since 2005, earned more than $100,000 a year according to court documents supplied by Apple.