The three expected to plead guilty to charges that include obstruction of justice and securities fraud are Ira H. Zar, the former chief financial officer; David Rivard, a former vice president of finance; and David Kaplan, a former senior vice president. Judge I. Leo Glasser is scheduled to accept the pleas. All three men could face lengthy prison terms, although these could be reduced if they cooperate with prosecutors.
The pleas are a major step forward for prosecutors in the two-year criminal investigation of Computer Associates. Mr. Zar was among the highest-ranking officials at the company, sharing the executive suite with Charles B. Wang, its former chairman, and Sanjay Kumar, its current chairman and chief executive.
“This is another step up the ladder,” said James Walden, a lawyer at O’Melveny & Myers who represents Lloyd Silverstein, a former Computer Associates executive who in January became the first person to plead guilty to criminal charges related to the investigation. “I’m glad to see that others have pled, and I suspect they won’t be the last.”
Since late 2001, federal prosecutors in Brooklyn and the Securities and Exchange Commission have investigated whether Computer Associates used accounting tricks to inflate its sales and earnings in the late 1990’s. During that period, Mr. Wang, Mr. Kumar and a third executive received a $1.1 billion bonus tied to the performance of the company’s stock.
Mr. Zar did not share in that grant. But he has been paid a total of more than $4 million and received options to buy 1.8 million shares since 2000, according to the company’s proxy statements.