Apple Yanks Online Profile of Embezzler's Employer

Apple has pulled the online profile of a company whose CIO was convicted last month of embezzling more than $500,000 from his employer.

Apple has pulled the online profile of a company whose CIO was convicted last month of embezzling more than $500,000 from his employer.

The page that highlighted Auto Warehousing Company's migration from Windows PCs to Macs no longer appears on Apple's Business site, which hosts nearly 100 success stories of entrepreneurs, small- and medium-sized companies, and enterprises like Twitter and Linkedin that rely on Apple products.

On Thursday, the page was still viewable in search engine caches, including Google's.

Dale Frantz, Auto Warehousing's then-CIO, was widely quoted in Apple's profile, saying that he moved some of the company's core operations and switched to Apple-certified storage to save money.

Frantz, 46, was sentenced last month to serve six years in federal prison for his part in an embezzling scheme that netted him and a partner more than $700,000. He was also ordered to repay $516,000 to his former employer.

Between 2007 and 2009, Frantz created more than 75 fake invoices to back up his bogus expense reports, altered legitimate invoices to boost his reimbursements, and used corporate money to buy company hardware that he later sold on the Internet, according to court documents.

He also had co-conspirator Michael Newman bill for nonexistent goods and services, then split the profits with Newman, who was, like Frantz, convicted of wire fraud. Newman has been ordered to repay Auto Warehousing $221,000.

Frantz was fired by Auto Warehousing in June 2010.

The disappearance of the company's profile from Apple's site didn't surprise Auto Warehousing.

"While we are not privy to Apple's decision making process we do understand that they are a company that actively manages their brand and image," said Robert Mullen, Auto Warehousing's director of I/S development. "In light of recent events, one could make a strong case that removal of the material in question would fit with this general corporate strategy."

Apple did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Frantz was considered a stellar CIO.

In 2005, he honored as one of Computerworld's Premier 100 IT Leaders , in part because of the migration from Windows to Mac OS X, a move Computerworld followed in a two-part series in mid-2007.

Frantz acknowledged his double life in a letter to the federal judge who sentenced him last month.

"I was relieved on the day I was terminated from AWC," Frantz wrote. "Relieved of the pressure of the job, but more importantly it meant that the double life of 'successful executive' and 'embezzler' was over."

While Apple yanked the Auto Warehousing profile from its site, it did an incomplete job of scrubbing evidence from its pages. The Canadian version of Apple's Web site, for example, still shows the company's profile.

Apple removed this profile of Auto Warehousing Company from its site, but cached versions remain on Google.

Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His e-mail address is .

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This story, "Apple Yanks Online Profile of Embezzler's Employer" was originally published by Computerworld.


Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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