Former Honda executive jailed for perjury, obstructing probe

Savoy lied to judge during lawsuit by dealers

April 28, 1999|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

A former Honda Motor Co. executive was sentenced yesterday in federal court in Baltimore to five months in prison for lying in a sworn statement to a judge presiding over a lawsuit against the company by several of its dealers.

U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake also sentenced Gregory T. Savoy, 31, of Cherry Hill, N.J., to two years of supervised release, including five months on home detention, and 100 hours of community service.

Savoy was found guilty by a federal jury in January of perjury and obstruction of justice.

Jurors concluded that Savoy lied when he said in a July 1997 affidavit to U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz that no one had ever instructed him to discriminate against Honda dealers that were suing the company.

But evidence at his weeklong trial included a tape recording of a conversation Savoy had six weeks earlier with a New Jersey dealer -- made without Savoy's knowledge -- in which the former district sales manager acknowledged that his supervisor had ordered that "litigating dealers" should not be given extra cars.

Savoy's affidavit was submitted in response to a claim by dealers who said the company was shipping them fewer cars to sell in retaliation for filing suit.

The dealers had contended in their suit that they suffered financially because of Honda executives' practice of awarding franchises and allocating cars based on who paid them bribes and kickbacks.

The company later agreed to pay $320 million to settle the suit.

Pub Date: 4/28/99

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