HP Canada’s best customer gets seven years in the Big House

Former Department of Defence weasel Paul Champagne was sentenced this week after defrauding taxpayers of $100 million through phoney invoices sent to HP, the kind of behaviour that in better times would have earned him a seat in the Canadian senate.

But don’t cry too hard for Champagne, who though a plea bargain arrangement should be eligible for day parole after serving only one-sixth of his seven-year sentence, or 14 months. (At which point we fully intended to follow up with a story about his bright future in the private sector, headlined “Champange still wishes for caviar dreams.”)

Don’t cry for HP, either. James Bagnall of the Ottawa Citizen did some digging and discovered some interesting details of a civil suit the computer giant filed against Champagne in 2004.

“HP reached an out of court settlement with Champagne in 2005. Key to the deal in the civil suit was Champagne’s agreement to transfer title of his major assets to HP — including properties in Dunrobin and the Turks & Caicos, and shares in Kanata-based Workstream, a high-tech firm specializing in human resources software.”

HP might want to try offering some of those HR tools back to the DND, which clearly could do a better job with the whole screening process.

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