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Ex-CA boss Kumar checks in for 12 year sentence

From cooking the books to cooking the grits

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Ex-Computer Associates boss Sanjay Kumar began his almighty bowl of porridge yesterday when he checked in at a federal prison in New Jersey.

Kumar, 45, reported to the federal prison in Fairton, Reuters reports, to begin a 12 year sentence for his role in the $2.2bn accounting scandal at the software firm that cost shareholders over $400m.

Even as Kumar handed over his civvies for standard issue prison gear, he will presumably be thanking his lucky lawyers that he will be serving his sentence at the minimum security federal prison camp at the facility.

Apparently, up until he checked in with the feds, he did not know where he would be serving his sentence. Ex-CEOs are generally not known for gaining respect and running the rackets when they hit the rougher end of the US prison system. Few know to fashion a home-made shiv from a toothbrush, and most don't even have home-made tattoos for god's sake.

According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Kumar can expect "dormitory housing, a relatively low staff-to-inmate ratio, and limited or no perimeter fencing".

He won't be bored either, as "these institutions are work and program-oriented". Indeed, "many are located adjacent to larger institutions or on military bases, where inmates help serve the labour needs of the larger institution or base".

According to the Prison Talk website, the food is "above average", while another poster says "was a good place to do my time".

Kumar struck a deal with prosecutors last year, pleading guilty to overseeing the infamous 35 day month accounting scam at the firm and to obstructing justice, just weeks before the case was due to go to trial. The case first blew up in 2004.

The company, now reborn as CA, was forced to restate years worth of results, and its new management has spent the last three years trying to scrub up its image in the wake of the scandal.

Apart from spending time in the prison camp, Kumar has been hit with an $8m fine, and must pay $800m back to shareholders. He has liquidated trusts and other assets to make a down payment of $52m, and will pay an ongoing 20 per cent of his annual income once he gets out of the slammer. Apparently, the government does not expect him to ever pay the full amount. ®

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