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Gaston Bastiaens arrested May 2001

Bastiaens is arrested in May 2001 by U.S. Marshals in Massachusetts.

Gaston August Johannes Bastiaens (born December 16, 1946) is a former executive of Apple Computer and Lernout & Hauspie who was sentenced to three years in prison for corporate fraud in Belgium.[1]


Bastiaens was born in Westerlo, Belgium and graduated from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven.[2] He received a masters degree in engineering from the Université catholique de Louvain.


Philips Electronics[]

At Philips in the Netherlands, Bastiaens was director of the Consumer Electronics Division and general manager of the Interactive Media Systems Group, helping to launch the Compact Disc-Interactive (CD-i) platform in 1990.[3]

Apple Computer[]

Bastiaens joined Apple Computer on July 15, 1992 and became the vice president and general manager of the Personal Interactive Electronics (PIE) division that was overseeing development of the Newton mobile platform.[3] During the CeBIT tradeshow at Hanover, Germany in March 1993, Bastiaens bet his wine cellar against a journalist that the beleagured Newton development team would still be able to ship the Newton MessagePad by the end of that summer. The original MessagePad did launch in August at Macworld Expo Boston, but its Newton OS was beset by numerous bugs, including faulty handwriting recognition. Bastiaens was met with criticism suggesting that he had rushed the release to avoid losing his wine cellar.[4] Bastiaens left Apple in April 1994.[3]

After Apple[]

After briefly working as CEO of Quarterdeck Office Systems, Bastiaens in October 1996 became president and CEO of Lernout & Hauspie, a Belgian developer of speech recognition products. In August 2000, He resigned amid a shareholder lawsuit that the company had been reporting falsified sales and revenues. The company's $10 billion market capitalization disappeared and investors were wiped out.[3]

Arrest and fraud conviction[]

On May 26, 2001, Bastiaens was arrested in Winchester, Massachusetts by U.S. Marshals and extradited to Belgium to face trial.[3] He was found guilty and sentenced to 5 years in prison, with two years suspended on probation. On December 10, 2021, the court of appeal in Ghent, Belgium ordered Bastiaens and other former directors of Lernout & Hauspie to repay 655 million in damages.[5][6]


  1. Lernout, Hauspie Get Prison Sentences in Belgian Corporate-Fraud Case by John Martens, Bloomberg. 2010-09-20. Archived 2011-06-25.
  2. Het Gebeurde in het Westen (van België): Lernout & Hauspie Speech Products (Dutch), Mededelingenblad van de Leuvense Germanisten vol.10. KU Leuven, 1997.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 The Fallen Apple by Owen W. Linzmayer, Apple Confidential 2.0: The Definitive History of the World's Most Colorful Company p.193-196, No Starch Press. 2004.
  4. Today in Apple history: Apple exec bets his wine cellar on Newton by Luke Dormehl, Cult of Mac. 2021-03-27.
  5. Another year’s delay for victims of 20-year-old fraud case by Alan Hope, The Brussels Times. 2020-12-04.
  6. 20 years on: Lernout & Hauspie directors ordered to pay out €655 million to investors by Alan Hope, The Brussels Times. 2021-12-10.

See also[]

  • Jizhong Chen, a former Apple engineer who was charged with theft of trade secrets.
  • Paul Devine, a former Apple manager who was convicted of wire fraud and conspiracy.
  • Gene Levoff, a former Apple attorney who was convicted of securities fraud.
  • Dhirendra Prasad, a former Apple buyer who was convicted of mail and wire fraud.
  • Weibao Wang, a former Apple engineer who was charged with theft of trade secrets.
  • Xiaolang Zhang, a former Apple engineer who was convicted of theft of trade secrets.

External links[]