This sounds like something from a TV episode, or maybe even a novel or film: an employee who works with sensitive, high-value technology manages to sneak test units out of the job for years and sell them for a fat wad of cash. In a movie, he’d take the money and retire quietly to a nice tropical island where the drinks come with umbrellas in them. In reality, however, he is now being indicted by Taiwanese authorities for the theft.
The Taiwanese employee was a manager at Foxconn’s plant in Shenzen, China, Asia One reports.
Foxconn is where most of the parts Apple sources from around the world come together to be assembled into iPhones. And over the course of a few years, Taiwanese authorities allege, the employee managed to smuggle about 5,700 of those phones out of the factory.
Prosecutors say he didn’t act alone; he instructed eight other employees at the factory (manager, remember) to get the phones out of the factory. They were testing units, which are supposed to be scrapped after testing is complete. Instead of being relegated to the trash heap, though, they were quietly resold.
Between 2013 and 2014, the district prosector’s office says, the employee raked about $1.56 million, give or take, from selling the illicit iPhone 5 and 5S models.
He has been charged with breach of trust and, if convicted, faces a maximum jail term of 10 years.