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Imprisoned ex-CA executive has his sentence reduced

Stephen Richards, the former top sales 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.

Richards was ordered released from Taft Correctional Institute, in Taft, Calif., with a resentencing of time served, 43 months, in 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 Wednesday, "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."

But 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, which could take several months, and he will be imprisoned during that time, according to court records. Gunther said his client will join his wife and children in Australia after deportation.

The sentence reduction comes after the federal appeals court ruled in August that Richards, who had originally been sentenced to 7 years for taking an active role in a scheme in which several billion dollars in sales were fraudulently backdated to meet Wall Street expectations of profit, should have been given more credit for his cooperation in the investigation and his full admission of guilt.

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

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

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