Isles co-owner Kumar pleads guilty to business fraud

NEW YORK -- Sanjay Kumar, the co-owner of the New York Islanders and former CEO of Computer Associates International Inc., pleaded guilty Monday to obstruction of justice and securities fraud charges in a massive accounting scandal at the Long Island-based software company.

According to a 2004 indictment, Kumar was so involved with adding false revenue to a financial quarter even after it closed that he flew on a corporate jet to Paris in July 1999 to finalize a $19 million deal and signed a contract that had been backdated.

The indictment also charged that executives instructed salespeople to complete deals after the quarter had closed -- a practice known within the company as the "35-day month" -- and "cleaned up" contracts by removing time stamps from faxes.

The company's former head of worldwide sales, Stephen Richards, pleaded guilty to the same charges in federal court in Brooklyn.

Five other top executives had previously pleaded guilty.

Kumar and Richards are free on $5 million bond while awaiting their Sept. 12 sentencing. The law allows a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for the offenses, but the term could be substantially less under federal sentencing guidelines.

Kumar and Computer Associates founder Charles Wang bought the Islanders in 2000 for an estimated $190 million. They also own the Arena Football League's New York Dragons.