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Albert Bergonzi, the government’s star witness in the $9 billion stock scandal in the merger of McKesson Corp. with HBO & Co., can’t get a break. U.S. District Judge Martin Jenkins sentenced Bergonzi to three years, five-months in prison, a year longer than the government was recommending. The sentence came despite Bergonzi being represented by former U.S. Attorney Joseph Russoniello, who is widely considered a potential nominee to come back to the job currently held by Scott Schools. Even though Bergonzi went to the government early in a plea deal to testify against his former colleagues, Jenkins acquitted the former McKesson chief financial officer Richard Hawkins in 2005 because he just didn’t believe Bergonzi. And although Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy Crudo argued that Bergonzi should get just two-and-one-half years in prison so as not to discourage cooperation from others, Jenkins disagreed. “I have not found that he perjured himself,” said Jenkins of the Hawkins case testimony, “I have some questions about reliability.” His sentencing ends a stock scandal that resulted from accounting irregularities that became public after the merger of HBOC and McKesson in 1999. Bergonzi was also ordered to pay $866,000 in restitution toward a shareholder suit currently pending in federal court in San Jose, Calif.

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