A Kiwi jailed for seven years in the US for a multi-billion dollar scam has had his sentence reduced to 3 years after an appeals court said the original judge did not give him credit for his early guilty plea.

Stephen Richards, 45, who grew up in Wellington, is now likely to be deported.

Richards pleaded guilty to conspiracy, securities fraud, making false filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission and obstruction of justice and perjury in relation to a $3.5 billion accounting scheme at software company Computer Associates International.

He was one of seven of the company's former executives to plead guilty to criminal charges in a scheme to artificially increase the software maker's quarterly revenue through backdated sales contracts.