Kumar erased proof from hard drive, US says

The U.S. government will present evidence at the upcoming trial of Sanjay Kumar that the former chief executive officer of CA Inc. erased from his laptop computer potential evidence related to the accounting fraud case against him and the company, according to a court document filed earlier this month.

Kumar reformatted his laptop to run the Linux OS after the government started investigating the company, the document alleges. The court paper was filed Feb. 2 in the U.S. District court for the Eastern District of New York, where the case is being heard. The document is a letter from the U.S. Attorney’s office for that district notifying Kumar’s attorneys of the plan to call two expert witnesses regarding the alleged destruction of possible evidence.

David Burg of PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) is expected to testify about the approximate date and time that Kumar reformatted the laptop and to provide testimony about the effect that procedure would have had on data in the laptop. He also is expected to say which software applications were installed on the laptop after reformatting, as well as to provide the contents of metadata information about when a document was created, last edited and who authored it. The document in question deals with contracts and correspondence related to license agreements that CA recognized as revenue in the quarter ending Dec. 31, 2000, the letter says.

Lastly, Burg will testify about the date on which a file directory titled “incinerate” was created on the computer hard drive of Stephen Richards, CA’s former head of sales who has been charged with fraud and obstruction of justice. Burg is director of PWC’s Advisory Services Dispute Analysis and Investigations practice and specializes in “forensic technology solutions,” according to the letter.

CA, which changed its name from Computer Associates after the fraud charges were filed, along with Kumar and Richards, is accused of fraudulent accounting practices, including backdating licensing agreements. The case is scheduled for trial on April 24.

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