Two former top executives of software manufacturer Computer Associates International avoided a courtroom battle by both pleading guilty to eight counts of securities fraud and obstruction of justice.

According to the indictment in Federal District Court in Brooklyn, Sanjay Kumar, 44, the company's former chief executive, and Stephen Richards, the company's former top salesman, confessed to inflating sales in 1999 and 2000. The men admitted they used methods such as backdating contracts and fabricating sales to meet analyst forecasts as part of an accounting fraud the governments says totaled over $2 billion .

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