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Ex-CA executive getting out of prison early

Stephen Richards, left, leaving Federal Courthouse in Brooklyn

Stephen Richards, left, leaving Federal Courthouse in Brooklyn in April 2006. Photo Credit: Joel Cairo

Stephen Richards, the former executive at Computer Associates (now CA Technologies Inc.) convicted in 2006 in a $2-billion criminal accounting scandal at CA, is about to gain early release from federal prison, court records show.

The order does not affect Richards' co-defendant Sanjay Kumar, former chief executive of Islandia-based CA, who continues to serve a 12-year prison sentence on a fraud conviction.

Richards was ordered freed, with a resentencing of time served, 43 months, after an Oct. 13 decree by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, in Manhattan, court records show.

Richards' lawyer, Christopher Gunther, said, "We are delighted that the court's 'time served' sentence allows Mr. Richards to be released from prison and to return  home to his family."

The order will not immediately result in Richards, a New Zealander, walking free.

Because he’s not a U.S. citizen he will immediately be moved into a deportation process that could take several months, and he will be imprisoned during that time, according to court records.

Federal inmate records Wednesday showed him as still in custody at Taft Correctional Institute, in Taft, Calif.

The sentence reduction comes after the federal appeals court in August ruled that Richards, who had originally been sentenced to 7 years in prison for his role in the Computer Associates scandal, should have been given more credit for his cooperation in the investigation and his full admissions of guilt.

In the same August decision the court denied Kumar's appeal for a reduction in his prison sentence.

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