Seven years for Richards

As a non-US citizen, Richards may be deported upon completion of his sentence

Stephen Richards, the New Zealand-born and raised former worldwide head of sales for CA, was sentenced on November 14 to seven years imprisonment for fraud and obstruction of justice.

The charges relate to the “35-day month” practice carried out by CA during 1999-2000, in which sales contracts finalised shortly after the close of one financial quarter were backdated to make it appear as if the sale had taken place within the previous quarter.

The goal was to meet CA’s own “guidance” or estimates of what it would earn that quarter, and to meet or exceed stock analysts’ predictions of earnings.

Richards has been ordered to report to prison on February 27. As a non-US citizen, he may be deported upon completion of his sentence.

Richards headed CA’s New Zealand operation in the early 1990s before becoming head of CA Australia and then transferring to the US with the company, ultimately becoming worldwide head of sales.

He left CA in 2004 as the US authorities completed an investigation into CA’s accounting practices.

CA’s former chief executive, Sanjay Kumar, received a 12-year sentence on November 2 for his part in the affair.

Reuters news agency reports that US District Judge I Leo Glasser describes Richards as a late participant in the scheme and so not deserving of the same sentence as Kumar. “The conspiracy was not one of which ... Richards was a founding member,” Glasser says.

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