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Corrupt IBMer gets five years in slammer

Kickbacks and surplus components

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A former IBM executive has been sentenced to more than five years after been found guilty of corruption on a grand scale.

Robert St. Germain who was convicted last December of money laundering and tax evasion, was sentenced last Friday to a prison term of 63 months and ordered to pay a fine of $1.2 million by US District Judge Colleen McMahon, Bloomberg reports.

At IBM St. Germain was in charge of selling surplus IBM inventory to outside firms, which reconditioned the equipment and sold it back to Big Blue.

Prosecutors were able to show that St. Germain gave business on preferential terms to one such firm, called Cerplex, in return for $1.65 million in kickbacks.

St. Germain, who lives in New York State, disguised the cash by using an accomplice to invest in property in Phoenix, Arizona. He left IBM in 1993 and his subsequent attempts to recover the property ultimately led to his undoing.

St. Germain's main accomplice, Lawrence LaSpina, was also convicted in the case, and 11 other people pleaded guilty. ®

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