Former Commonwealth Bank IT executive Keith Hunter is due to face court for charges of alleged bribery on May 28, following a brief appearance in Sydney Central Local Court this morning.
Hunter was arrested earlier this month as part of an investigation by the NSW Police Fraud & Crime Squad and the US Federal Bureau of Investigation. He has pleaded 'not guilty' to the charges.
The case will be taken over by the Department of Public Prosecutions (DPP) who proposed the court proceedings should be adjourned until May 28. Hunter is on conditional bail and was originally due to appear in court on April 1.
Hunter was granted the new commencement date after his lawyer claimed his court appointments had been treated as a “trophy hunting exercise” by the police and the media.
Earlier this year, police were contacted by CBA after internal investigators uncovered some suspicious payments that had allegedly been deposited into the bank accounts of two of the bank’s senior staff.
It was alleged that Hunter and another one of the bank’s former IT executives were involved in a corrupt relationship with publicly-listed overseas technology provider, ServiceMesh. The <i>AFR</i> reported yesterday that SeviceMesh founder, Eric Pulier, has been suspended by his US employer Computer Services Corporation after he allegedly funneled kickbacks from ServiceMesh and a charity he set up to the CBA execs in return for winning lucrative IT contracts.
Detectives from the Fraud & Cybercrime’s Squad’s Corporate Corruption Unit formed Strike Force Drawl to investigate the case.
The second IT executive - a 44-year-old man and New Zealand citizen - has been charged with seven counts of corruptly receiving almost $1.9 million and is due to appear in Sydney Central Local Court on May 1.