Three executives at computer software maker Computer Associates International Inc. might wind up a lot lighter in the wallet after a Chancery Court judge ordered them to return more than $550 million in stock they were improperly awarded under a compensation plan.

Vice Chancellor Myron T. Steele on Nov. 9 ruled in favor of Computer Associates’ shareholders who sued the company’s chief executive and two other officials seeking the return from them of 9.5 million shares. Investors contended the share award wasted corporate assets and violated the terms of a stock-ownership plan approved by shareholders in 1995.

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