First casualty in Apple kickback case

The chairman of a Singapore-based supplier has stepped down to "facilitate" investigation

Singapore's JLJ Holdings, one of several Asian firms named in Apple's (aapl) bribery suit against one of its own mid-level managers, announced Thursday that its executive chairman had temporarily relinquished his duties. Trading in JLJ stock was suspended after shares fell 18%.

Andrew Ang, a former employee of a JLJ subsidiary called Jin Li Mould, was named last week in Apple's suit against Paul Shin Devine, an Apple global supply manager.

Devine has been accused of trading confidential Apple information in return for more than $1 million in payments, bribes and kickbacks, some of which he allegedly shared with Ang.

Ang, it turns out, is related to JLJ's executive chairman, whom Reuters identified as Chua Kim Guan.

"Andrew Ang is the brother-in-law of the company's executive chairman," JLJ said in a statement. "In order to facilitate the impartial review of all activities relating to the Apple claim that may involve the company and its subsidiaries, the company's executive chairman has ... voluntarily relinquished all executive duties."

In addition to Apple's civil suit, Devine and Ang were named last week in a 23-count Federal indictment. Devine appeared in court Monday and pleaded not guilty. Ang has not yet surfaced. According to JLJ, he left Jin Li Mould in 2009.

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[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]

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