Former Home Depot worker gets jail for kickbacks

WASHINGTON, June 11 (Reuters) - A former Home Depot Inc HD.N employee was sentenced to 6-1/2 years in prison on Thursday for accepting kickbacks in exchange for buying some suppliers' products for the giant hardware retailer, the U.S. Justice Department said.

Anthony Tesvich, 42, of Atlanta, was sentenced to 6 years and 6 months in federal prison on charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and filing false tax returns, the Justice Department said. The sentencing took place in Atlanta.

Tesvich was also ordered to pay $8.29 million in restitution, the department said.

Tesvich had pleaded guilty to taking kickbacks in exchange for putting some vendors’ products in Home Depot stores and paying kickbacks to other employees both while he worked for Home Depot and after he left, the department said in a statement.

“After Tesvich left the company, he gave substantial cash payments -- which he called ‘French fries’ and ‘milkshakes’ -- to co-conspirator employees at Home Depot. One co-conspirator also received a luxury SUV from Tesvich,” the department said.

Reporting by Diane Bartz