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CSC's ServiceMesh named as source of bank exec bribe

Was winning deal at top Oz bank seen as value-fluffer before acquisition?

ServiceMesh, a cloud policy company acquired by CSC in 2013, has been named as the source of a bribe allegedly paid to a former Australian bank executive.

Keith Robert Hunter yesterday appeared in the New South Wales (NSW) Local Court in connection with payments he allegedly received while he worked at The Commonwealth Bank (CBA) in a senior IT role.

Several reports have named ServiceMesh as the company that initiated the payments.

The case's genesis is large US dollar transfers into Hunter's bank account which he opened at CBA, which noticed those transfers, felt they were odd and reported them to NSW Police.

In court on Wednesday, the force mentioned emails between Hunter and another former CBA IT executive John Waldron, in which the pair bemoan their lack of cunning in using a CBA account.

The motive for the payments appears to be ServiceMesh seeking a way to secure a deal with the CBA, an extremely profitable AU$44 billion (US$34bn) entity with a gilt-edged international reputation among finance types. Winning work with CBA is therefore a big feather in a cloud upstart's cap and it is imagined that any inappropriate payments were aimed at ensuring ServiceMesh could secure just such a feather.

Terms of CSC's acquisition of ServiceMesh were not disclosed, but its believed many millions – possibly hundreds of millions – changed hands.

Hunter pleaded not guilty in court on Wednesday, was released on bail and will next appear before a judge in April. Authorities in Australia and the USA are reportedly searching for Waldron.

CSC says it is investigating the matter. ®

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