Singapore's JLJ Holdings, a far east firm named in a lawsuit involving Apple and alleged corruption, said on Thursday its executive chairman, Chua Kim Guan, will voluntarily step down for the time being.
Paul Shin Devine, a global supply manager for Apple , who was arrested last week and pleaded not guilty on Monday, is charged with accepting kickbacks of at least $1 million from Asian suppliers.
JLJ owns Jin Li Mould, an Apple supplier which allegedly received confidential information from Apple's Devine, Reuters reports, while a former Jin Li executive Andrew Ang was also named in the suit.
"Andrew Ang is the brother-in-law of the company's executive chairman. 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 also voluntarily relinquished all executive duties," JLJ said in a statement to Reuters.
Apple's Devine was accused last week of 23 counts of wire fraud, wire fraud conspiracy and money laundering. Devine also faces a civil suit from Apple, charging him with accepting more than $1 million in bribes from suppliers over the past few years.
The kickback scheme, which prosecutors claim began in February 2007 and ended in August 2010, allegedly generated up to $2.5 million in payments according to reports.
Earlier today, JLJ asked for a suspension in the trading of its shares, as the company share price has dropped dramatically since the scandal first broke over a week ago.
While Devine pleaded innocent to the charges in a U.S. court earlier this week. Ang, who's location is not known, remains a fugitive.
In response to the alleged kickback scheme and the involvement of Ang and Jin Li Mould Manufacturing, Chua voluntarily gave a statement to Singapore's Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) regarding the indictment against Ang and Devine, the filing said. It did not say when Chua provided the statement.
On Tuesday, CPIB declined to say whether its pursuing an investigation of the alleged kickbacks. Under Singaporean law, it's illegal for company executives to give or receive bribes and kickbacks. CPIB has the power to conduct searches and make arrests in corruption cases.