Former CBA IT exec to stand trial

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Former CBA IT exec to stand trial

Following committal hearing.

Former Commonwealth Bank IT manager Jon Waldron will stand trial in the NSW District Court for allegedly accepting kickbacks from IT vendor ServiceMesh.

Magistrate Hugh Donnelly determined at Sydney's Downing Centre Local Court today that there was reasonable prospect of a jury convicting Waldron on charges of corruption and dishonestly causing financial disadvantage to Commonwealth Bank.

It follows eight days of committal hearing in February, where the bank's former CIO Michael Harte declined to give evidence from London.

The matter, which Donnelly branded a "complex circumstantial case", has been committed for trial in the District Court, starting on April 20.

Waldron is facing charges over his alleged involvement in a scheme that used performance targets to generate a US$98 million (A$122 million) payout to ServiceMesh shareholders following its acquisition by CSC in 2013.

Police allege that Waldron and his colleague, former head of IT delivery services Keith Hunter, accepted financial kickbacks throughout 2013 and 2014 from former ServiceMesh CEO Eric Pulier for awarding the vendor a $10.5 million project from the Commonwealth Bank.

The deal saw ServiceMesh supply McAfee software - at a mark-up of $3.3 million - that was rejected by the bank a year earlier, as well as Pivotal software that was never used.

Hunter was found guilty of dishonestly causing financial disadvantage by deception and being an agent corruptly receiving benefit, and sentenced to three-and-a-half years in jail back in December 2016.

Waldron is also facing charges, along with Pulier, in the United States.

Update Friday 20 April: A trial date has been set for 21 January 2019. Waldron is scheduled to enter his plea on July 20.

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