Tyco Execs Found Guilty

image AP

Two former top executives of Tyco International Ltd. were convicted Friday of looting the industrial products and services company of more than $600 million to fund extravagant lifestyles featuring expensive jewelry, an opulent Manhattan apartment and a gaudy Mediterranean birthday party.

Former chief executive Dennis Kozlowski and finance chief Mark Swartz were found guilty of grand larceny, securities fraud, falsifying business records and other charges.

The grand larceny conviction alone carries a penalty of up to 25 years in prison.

A state court jury deliberated over 11 days before returning the verdict in the second prosecution of Kozlowski, 58, and Swartz, 44. The verdict came after a four-month trial in Manhattan state Supreme Court.

The pair had testified they were unaware of any wrongdoing when they accepted the hundreds of millions in money and loans.

"We are disappointed, and we will deal with this on appeal," promised Swartz's attorney, Charles Stillman.

Although prosecutors called for the pair to be jailed pending sentencing, both were allowed to remain free on $10 million bail apiece. Their dejected wives sat in the courtroom, their heads hanging, as the jury
foreman intoned guilty verdict after guilty verdict against the pair – 22 for each.

Kozlowski and Swartz, who were each acquitted of just a single charge, were due back in court Aug. 2 for a pre-sentencing hearing.

"This is close to the worst-case scenario for these guys, who now face almost certain prison time," says CBS News Legal Analyst Andrew Cohen. "Grand larceny is a big deal and it's inconceivable that a judge will show much mercy in sentencing, given how much money was in play here."

Cohen says the case was "not all that complicated. This jury believed that these guys stole money from the company through unauthorized loans and other shenanigans they shouldn't have been doing. And that's grand larceny as much as stealing from a bank is."

Kozlowski and Swartz join a string of executives convicted in recent years in high-profile corporate wrongdoing cases, among them former WorldCom CEO Bernard Ebbers and Adelphia Communications Corp. founder John Rigas and his son, Timothy.

Richard Scrushy, founder and former chief executive at HealthSouth Corp., is on trial on fraud charges and awaiting a jury verdict in federal court in Birmingham, Ala. And former Enron Corp. executives Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling are scheduled to go on trial early next year.
  • Joel Roberts

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