3 Nov, 2006 IANS
WASHINGTON: Sanjay Kumar, 44, former chief executive of Computer Associates International, has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for orchestrating a huge accounting fraud at the world's fifth largest software maker.
He was also sentenced to 24 years of supervised release and a $8-million fine in Federal District Court in Brooklyn, New York, on Thursday, according to US media reports.
Since pleading guilty to securities fraud and obstruction of justice charges, he faced 20 years in prison, though sentencing guidelines provided a maximum of lifetime imprisonment.
The presiding Judge, I. Leo Glasser, described that as excessive. But Judge Glasser repeatedly rebuked Kumar for helping to inflate the company's sales in 1999 and 2000.
"This shocked the conscience of this court, and I dare believe it shocked the conscience of any reasonable person," Judge Glasser said.
The sentence came after a nearly two-hour hearing in which Kumar again apologised to the court.
"I stand before the court today to accept full responsibility for my actions," Kumar said. "I deeply regret the actions I took."
Kumar is scheduled to report to prison Feb 27. At the hearing, his chief lawyer, Jack Cooney, requested that Kumar serve his prison term at the Federal Correctional Institute in Fairton, New Jersey.
Kumar pleaded guilty in April, two weeks before he was to stand trial. Previously, he had maintained his innocence since first being indicted in 2004.
His sentencing appears to conclude a four-year investigation of Computer Associates – now known as CA Inc. – that centred on fraudulent contracts and earnings statements that artificially increased profits.
The second-largest provider of software for mainframe computers, Computer Associates charted tremendous success during the 1990's, largely under the leadership of Kumar and the company's founder, Charles B. Wang.
Kumar was compensated handsomely in return: in 1998, he netted a $330 million bonus, one of the largest paydays by any American executive. With Wang, Kumar is an owner of the New York Islanders hockey team.
Seven other Computer Associates executives have pleaded guilty to fraud charges as well. Stephen Richards, the company's former top salesman who pleaded guilty in April alongside Kumar; will be sentenced Nov 14.