Former Commonwealth Bank IT manager Jon Waldron indicted in US over bribery allegations

By | septiembre 29, 2017
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The US has issued arrest warrants for former Commonwealth Bank IT executive Jon Waldron and a former contractor to the bank over their alleged involvement in a bribery scheme.

A US grand jury indicted Sydney-based Mr Waldron and California technology executive Eric Pulier on Wednesday.

Both Mr Pulier and Mr Waldron have been charged with five counts of fraud and one count of conspiracy. Mr Pulier faces nine additional charges relating to the alleged bribes.

Mr Waldron is already facing charges in Australia over the alleged payments. He has pleaded not guilty to those charges.

New Zealand-born Mr Waldron is next due to appear in the NSW Local Court on October 9 in relation to the Australian charges.

Mr Pulier is accused of paying $2.5 million of bribes to two CBA executives, Mr Waldron and former CBA IT general manager Keith Hunter.

It is alleged Mr Waldron received $1.9 million in payments to a New Zealand shell company.

The US Department of Justice alleges that in return for the bribes, Mr Waldron helped to approve a $10.5 million McAfee software contract for the bank.

ServiceMesh was sold to NASDAQ-listed tech giant Computer Sciences Corporation in 2013.

It is alleged the payments relating to CBA’s McAfee contract helped ServiceMesh secure additional payments of $US98 million in the form of an earn-out bonus from CSC in the year after ServiceMesh was acquired. This was on top of the $US282 million CSC had already paid to acquire ServiceMesh.

US Prosecutors said Mr Pulier received about $30 million of the earn-out bonus.

Mr Pulier then allegedly funnelled more than $US2.5 million of that amount in kickbacks to Hunter and Mr Waldron through Mr Pulier’s purported non-profit organisation, according to the Securities Exchange Commission’s court filing.

It is alleged that when CBA Security questioned the payments, Hunter drafted a Statement of Works on his home computer describing management consulting work provided to Mr Pulier’s non-profit organisation.

Hunter, an American who joined the bank in 2011, was sentenced to 3½ years in jail, with a non-parole period of two years and three months in December.

Hunter has also been charged in the US and is expected to be extradited to face those charges once released from prison in Australia.

Los Angeles-based Mr Pulier, 50, is expected to surrender “in the coming days”, according to prosecutors.

Fairfax Media has been unable to contact Mr Waldron.

A spokesman for the Commonwealth Bank said the bank referred the matter to NSW Police in early 2015.

“We considered that the suspicious activity of these individuals was serious, that’s why we took the step of reporting their activity to the NSW Police,” the spokesman said.

“We will continue to cooperate with the police and authorities as the judicial processes continue.”

The bribery allegations come amid a torrid time for CBA, which is facing an inquiry by the banking regulator, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, following scandals in its financial advice and life insurance arm.

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