By ANDREW HUGHES
The former CEO of a Comverse, a Long Island software developer, was sentenced by a Brooklyn Federal Court judge on Thursday to 30 months in prison, after having pleaded guilty to fraud charges in August.
The sentence pronounced by Judge Nicholas Garaufis on Jacob “Kobi” Alexander for fraudulently backdating stock options, was far lighter than that sought by federal prosecutors because the defendant had fled the country to avoid prosecution.
Alexander faced 35 charges relating to the scheme, which took place from 1998-2001. He was under investigation in 2006 before fleeing to Namibia, Africa for ten years but after extradition returned to plead guilty to one count of security fraud.
The prosecutors were not happy with the lenient sentence.
“Alexander committed a serious crime and instead of owning up to it he avoided the law,” said Assistant US Attorney James P. Loonam. “That should absolutely warrant a longer sentence.”
Alexander, 64, might have faced up to 10 years in prison for his actions, though many people charged with the same crime have generally faced lesser sentences.
The defense painted a flattering picture of Alexander, citing his good behavior in Namibia as a reason he should face a shorter sentence. Alexander’s defense team argued for a two-year sentence.
The defendant expressed remorse in the courtroom.
”I know I should have come back sooner,” he said, “but I could not face my actions.”