Risk Management

Former CA CFO Gets Light Sentence

Ira Zar's testimony led to guilty pleas by former boss and marketing chief.
Stephen TaubJanuary 29, 2007

The former chief financial officer of CA got a relatively light sentence for playing what a federal judge called a key role in the software company’s $2.2 billion accounting fraud. U.S. District Judge I. Leo Glasser sentenced Ira Zar to seven months in prison and seven months of home detention, citing Zar’s extensive cooperation with federal prosecutors and his otherwise spotless record, according to Newsday. No fine was imposed and restitution will be determined at a later date, noted the Associated Press,

The one-time finance executive, who pleaded guilty to securities fraud and two counts of conspiracy in 2004, potentially faced life in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy, securities fraud, and obstruction of justice, according to the reports. “I stand before you with great shame and remorse. I apologize for my actions,” Zar reportedly stated before he was sentenced.

Late last year, former chief executive Sanjay Kumar and Zar’s one-time boss was sentenced to 12 years in prison and fined $8 million after pleading guilty for his role in the massive fraud. Prosecutors stressed at the hearing that Zar’s cooperation and expected testimony played a role in leading Kumar and former sales chief Stephen Richards to plead guilty to criminal charges shortly before their case was scheduled to go to trial last year, according to the AP. “His cooperation has really been stellar,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Amy Walsh said, according to the wire service.

Richards was sentenced to seven years in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy, securities fraud, making false filings with the SEC, obstruction of justice and perjury, according to the AP.

Speaking on Zar’s behalf, his attorney, Andrew Lawler said his client’s “entire career and his success was a result of the people he reported to as CFO,” added the AP. “When the time came that he should have said no and should have walked away, he didn’t. That’s why he stands here today.”