The former chief executive of Computer Associates was sentenced to 12 years in prison yesterday, following an April guilty plea to conspiracy, fraud and obstruction of justice charges.

The guilty plea from Sanjay Kumar, 44, as well as his public expression of contrition in court, were an abrupt turnaround from the early aftermath of the $2 billion accounting scandal at the software manufacturer.

After allegedly wiping clean the hard drive of his computer before government officials could confiscate the machine, Kumar had pleaded not guilty to 10 counts originally, and faced a maximum of more than 100 years in prison and millions in fines. Yesterday, Kumar was also fined $8 million by a federal judge in Brooklyn, but that amount does not include a sum for restitution -- a dollar amount that could run into the nine-figure range and will not be determined until early 2007.

Prosecutors said that Kumar schemed with other executives to fraudulently report revenues associated with license agreements that hadn't been finalized through a practice involving artificially extending months and backdating other contracts to inflate earnings.

The Islandia, N.Y.-based company now operates under the name CA Inc. and has undergone a house-cleaning since the scandal was revealed in early 2004.
 
Kumar is free pending his surrender to federal authorities.

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