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Bank IT exec jailed after pleading guilty to taking bribes from ServiceMesh

Australian case will rumble on as CSC chases its former employee in the USA

A former IT executive from Australia's Commonwealth Bank (CBA) has been jailed for taking bribes from software company ServiceMesh.

Keith Robert Hunter has been sent down for three and a half years and will serve at least two years and three months, for dishonestly causing financial disadvantage by deception.

Hunter initially contested the charge but later changed his plea to guilty, thereby admitting that payments made to his personal bank account from the the ACE Foundation were an inducement to purchase ServiceMesh software.

ServiceMesh's founder Eric Pulier created the Foundation in 2014, the year after ServiceMesh was acquired by CSC. Pulier became head of strategy for CSC’s Emerging Business Group, a position from which he was suspended in April 2015 before resigning later that month as details of the the bribery scandal emerged.

The Register understands CSC's agreement to acquire ServiceMesh was structured to offer extra payments if the company hit certain revenue targets. It was alleged that the payments to Hunter, and another CAB executive John Waldron, were effectively an incentive to do a deal with ServiceMesh that tipped Pulier past a threshold that would trigger those extra payments.

Whatever the reason for the payments, the District Court has now found they were made and weren't lawful. Hence Hunter's new lodgings for the next couple of years.

Which is far from the end of the matter. Hunter's co-accused, John Waldron, maintains his innocence and will be tried next year. CSC is suing Pulier in the United States and Pulier has returned the favour. Hunter also faces charges in the USA. The CBA and ACE Foundation have also duked it out in court.

CSC declined to comment on the sentence. ®

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