updated 10/24/2006 2:42:46 PM ET 2006-10-24T18:42:46

A former executive with leading voicemail software maker Comverse Technology Inc. pleaded guilty to conspiracy and securities fraud Tuesday after agreeing to cooperate in the investigation of a scheme to make millions of dollars by manipulating stock options.

The plea in Brooklyn federal court clears the way for the former head of finance, David Kreinberg, to testify against former chief executive Jacob “Kobi” Alexander, who is fighting extradition in Africa.

Alexander became the target of an international manhunt in late July shortly before authorities unsealed a criminal complaint naming him, Kreinberg and former senior general counsel William Sorin in the plot.

Before he disappeared, Alexander, an Israeli citizen and a U.S. permanent resident, transferred $57 million to Israel, fueling speculation he may have fled there, prosecutors said. He was located last month in the Republic of Namibia, where he was briefly detained before being freed on bail pending a ruling on an extradition request by U.S. authorities.

Kreinberg faces up to 15 years in prison when he is sentenced on Feb. 23. He also could be ordered to pay tens of millions of dollars in restitution.

“Your honor, I knew at the time my actions were wrong,” he told the judge as he entered his plea.

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