* Ex-Deutsche banker given 10-month suspended sentence for
bribery of pension official
* Judge says other execs "tacitly condoned" wining and
dining of official
* Judge says evidence does not suggest problem was
(Adds comments from judge, sentenced Deutsche salesman)
By Nathan Layne
TOKYO, July 16 A Tokyo judge on Wednesday handed
a former Deutsche Bank salesman a suspended prison sentence for
bribing a pension fund official with dinners and golf outings,
and said more senior officials at the bank had "tacitly
condoned" the practice.
Akira Ando, the judge overseeing the case at the Tokyo
District Court, gave Shigeru Echigo, who worked at the Japanese
investment arm of Deutsche Bank, a 10-month prison sentence,
suspended for three years.
The judge also said there was evidence that senior managers
at Deutsche Securities knew their staff were entertaining
pension fund officials to gain business, but said there was no
proof that Echigo had been given explicit instructions to bribe
the official at the centre of this case.
"It is impossible to state definitively that this was a
company-wide problem," judge Ando added.
Deutsche Securities spokesman Takayuki Inoue has declined to
comment on the case.
The 37-year-old former salesman at Deutsche Securities had
pleaded guilty in April for charging about $9,000 to the bank to
entertain a former official at a pension fund affiliated with
trading house Mitsui & Co in 2012, in order to secure
investments. The official, Yutaka Tsurisawa, was convicted of
taking bribes and given an 18-month suspended sentence in March.
The Mitsui-affiliated fund managed public money as part of
its investment portfolio. Under Japanese law, executives of such
funds are treated as public servants, who are not allowed to
accept payments, or gifts, of any kind.
At a hearing last month, Echigo claimed entertaining clients
was widespread within Deutsche Securities Inc, and that
high-ranking officials were aware of the practice, including
current president Makoto Kuwahara.
"It's significant that it was recognised that it wasn't just
me," Echigo told reporters after he was sentenced.
In December, Japan's financial regulator announced a raft of
measures to bolster Deutsche Securities' compliance after
censuring it for entertaining pension fund officials.
Tokyo bankers have said wining and dining of such pension
fund officials was common before a 2012 scandal involving fund
manager AIJ Investment Advisors sparked a regulatory crackdown.
Echigo said he was not planning to appeal the court
decision, but said he was considering a civil case against
Deutsche Securities. He did not elaborate.
(Editing by Chang-Ran Kim and Miral Fahmy)