Another guilty plea in Home Depot kickbacks case

Former Home Depot purchasing manager James P. Robinson pleaded guilty late last week to three felony counts stemming from a scheme to award contracts to floor product vendors in exchange for gifts and cash.

Robinson was accused of having used bribe money to purchase two pieces of property near Nashville, Tenn., both of which are in forfeiture proceedings. On Dec. 21, Robinson voluntarily turned over $146,000 in cash to federal agents.

Robinson is the second Home Depot employee to plead guilty to tax evasion and mail fraud charges stemming from the scheme. Anthony Tesvich, the purported middleman in securing the bribes, pleaded guilty last month to three counts of tax evasion and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Ronald Johnston, formerly a global product manager for Home Depot and a tile buyer, also is accused of having received cash payments, as well as gifts, from vendors. He has not yet entered a plea in the case. Court documents state that two other former Home Depot employees were fired last year over matters stemming from the case, but they are not named in the civil complaint.

According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, a sentencing trial is set for Tesvich and Robinson on Oct. 14.