Former Commonwealth Bank infrastructure and operations head Keith Hunter faces US fraud charges related to bribe claims levied at Hunter and fellow former CBA IT exec John Waldon.
The US Department of Justice announced that Hunter, a US citizen, had been charged over an alleged scheme to inflate the price of US company ServiceMesh before its purchase by CSC.
The case is the product of an FBI investigation and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Stephen A. Cazares and Ann C. Kim of the Major Frauds Section.
Hunter and Waldron have faced criminal charges in Australia relating to the scheme, with police alleging that they accepted kickbacks in exchange for awarding a CBA contract to ServiceMesh, which boosted the price of the company before its purchase by CSC.
Both Hunter and Waldron initially pleaded not guilty to the Australian charges, which were laid in 2015. However Hunter earlier this year changed his plea and is awaiting sentencing in December.
The US charges faced by Hunter are conspiracy to commit securities fraud and wire fraud, and wire fraud. The charges carry a statutory maximum penalty of 45 years’ prison.
“Schemes like the one charged today compromise the integrity of our financial system, and this defendant’s fraud caused significant harm to CSC and its shareholders, all for his own personal profit,” US Attorney Eileen M. Decker said in a statement.
“Everyone who invests in American companies, especially American workers investing their hard-earned money directly or through a retirement plan, deserves protection from this kind of fraud.”
Hunter also faces a civil case brought by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.