Monday, April 24, 2006
It is not common for the CEO of a company to plead guilty, as the government often takes the pleas from the lower ranks of the company as they move up the chain. The CEOs are usually left to stand trial with others testifying against them. But that is not the case in the Computer Associates case with the former CEO, Sanjay Kumar, pleading guilty to obstruction of justice and securities fraud. (See Yahoo Finance AP here). Also pleading was a top salesman at the company. All this much to the government's surprise. (See Wall Street Journal here)
Taking responsibility may present an interesting scenario at sentencing as the defendants plead to the charge without any government deal. This case may be a true test on how powerful the government really is when it comes to offering deals to individuals. Will the government want these individuals to receive the low sentence they would normally provide to someone who confessed to criminal conduct? Or does that only apply when the government agrees to the plea entered?