Tyco Execs Back On Trial

An earthquake survivor sits with part of her face covered by a bandage in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2010. A 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck Haiti Tuesday. (AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo) AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo

Prosecutors are promising a leaner case as they prepare for the second trial of two Tyco International executives accused of stealing $600 million from the company to finance lavish lifestyles.

In the first trial, prosecutors played a videotape of the $2 million birthday party L. Dennis Kozlowski, Tyco's former chairman and chief executive officer, threw for his wife on a Mediterranean island, and a video tour through his $18 million Fifth Avenue apartment.

This time around, prosecutors were expected to focus less on items such as Kozlowski's $6,000 gold-threaded shower curtain and more on how he and co-defendant Mark Swartz allegedly looted the company.

Jury selection was set to begin Tuesday in the retrial, which was expected to last about four months.

Kozlowski, 58, and Swartz, 44, the company's former finance chief, are charged with grand larceny, falsifying business records, conspiracy and business law violations.

The defendants each face up to 30 years in prison if convicted of the most serious charges.

The executives' first trial, which lasted six months, was aborted last year because of a menacing letter and telephone call to a juror. While prosecutors have refused to say how they might pare the evidence at the retrial, they plan to present a leaner, shorter case.

Kozlowski and Swartz are accused of stealing $170 million by hiding unauthorized bonuses and secretly forgiving loans to themselves, and pocketing $430 million more by pumping up Tyco stock with lies about the state of the company's finances.

Defense lawyers said Kozlowski and Swartz earned every penny they got from Tyco.

The judge has already thrown out the top charge in the original indictment — enterprise corruption. That count suggested that Kozlowski and Swartz had conspired with others to turn Tyco into a criminal enterprise.

Tyco, which has about 270,000 employees and $36 billion in annual revenue, makes a wide range of products including electronics, medical supplies and security devices. The company is based in Bermuda.
  • Jarrett Murphy

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