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Embattled CA fires nine workers

The software maker dismisses nine employees in its legal and finance departments amid several probes into its accounting practices.

Computer Associates International has fired nine people in its legal and finance departments as it continues an independent probe into its own accounting practices.

The company, a maker of systems management software, said on Monday that it is "nearing completion" of its investigation and an assessment of whether it will need to restate any of its prior financial results.

"As the Audit Committee wraps up its work and takes these remedial actions, the management team has continued to focus on the business at hand, as we have in the past months," CA CEO Sanjay Kumar said in a statement. "We have kicked off our new fiscal year, rolled out our fiscal year objectives and remain focused on keeping our customers at the center of all that we are doing."

Some have questioned whether Kumar's job is on the line amid several probes by regulators and prosecutors into the company's actions. In April, three former executives, including a former chief financial officer, pleaded guilty to charges of obstruction and securities fraud.

The company remains under investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice. CA said on Monday that it cannot predict what the outcome of the investigations will be, but warned the company could face "administrative, civil injunctive or criminal proceedings, including charges against the company and other officers of the company, the imposition of fines and penalties, suspensions or debarments from government contracts."

CA also said on Monday that it has submitted a response to the SEC, which in January issued a "Wells notice" warning the company that it could face civil charges regarding securities fraud.

CA's audit committee has already found that the company had "prematurely recognized revenue in fiscal 2000 on the basis of software license agreements that were signed in a later quarter."

A CA representative declined to name the nine fired workers or describe their rank at the company.

Four of those dismissed on Monday were in the legal department, while five were in finance. All but one worked at the company's Islandia, N.Y., headquarters. CA said that it will rely on staff from other departments and from international subsidiaries to handle the work of those fired. It plans to release its fourth-quarter earnings on May 12, as scheduled.