Company's Legal Woes Cause Trouble for Another Firm
BY Angus Loten
The CEO of Louisville, Ky.-based iGate recently pleaded guilty to bribery.
The small business at the center of a Capitol Hill bribery scandal is now causing headaches for IT executives in far away Bangalore, India.
That's where you'll find iGate Global Solutions, a NASDAQ-traded technology outsourcing firm that is "not in any way related to the Kentucky based company iGate Inc., a privately held company whose CEO was recently indicted," a statement on the company's website now declares.
On May 3, Vernon Jackson, the 53-year-old CEO of the Louisville, Ky.-based iGate, a fiber optic network firm, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery and the payment of bribes to a public official, the Justice Department said.
Jackson now faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $50,000.
According to a Justice Department statement, Jackson admitted that in 2000 he was "introduced to a member of the U.S. House of Representatives" who was active in promoting trade in Africa. The representative, who under the terms of Jackson's plea bargain was not named, provided "official assistance to Jackson in persuading the U.S. Army to test iGate's broadband two-way technology and other iGate products," the statement said.
The payments, which came to $400,000, were made to a bogus company held in the names of the representative's spouse and children, Jackson reportedly told investigators.
Representatives from Jackson's iGate did not return calls for comment.
Over the weekend, federal investigators pursuing the case raided the congressional offices of Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.). On Sunday, Jefferson was accused of taking bribes from an unnamed Kentucky businessman. As evidence, investigators cited some $90,000 found stuffed in a freezer at Jefferson's Washington home, court papers show.
Ashok Trivedi, the president and founder of the Bangalore, India, iGate, was a runner-up in Inc.'s 1993 Entrepreneur of the Year contest. At the time, Trivedi had just launched Mastech Systems Corp., a software firm based in Pittsburgh, after working for 11 years as a software specialist, marketing manager, and product manager for Unisys Corp.