Greed Is Going to Jail: Ex-Tyco Execs Sentenced

Former Tyco International CEO L. Dennis Kozlowski, whose lavish lifestyle has come to symbolize corporate greed, was sentenced Monday to 8 to 25 years in prison. He has also been ordered to pay $167 million in restitution and fines. Former Tyco CFO Mark H. Swartz, was also sentenced to 8 to 25 years but only owes $72 million in fines and restitution.

Both men were taken immediately into custody. Lawyers for Kozlowski and Schwartz have indicated they will seek bail pending appeal, however, if bail is not granted both men will be transferred to Rikers Island by the end of the week on their way to the maximum-security state prison where they will serve their sentences. New York does not have any facilities comparable to the minimum-security federal prisons where other high-profile white-collar criminals have served their sentences.

Both men addressed the court asking for leniency prior to sentencing. Others, including the prosecutors and a former employee of Tyco, urged Judge Michael Obus of the State Supreme Court of Manhattan to impose the maximum sentence possible.

“The crimes at issue here were violations of the defendants’ positions of trust and their fiduciary duty on a grand scale,” Judge Obus said in handing down the sentences the New York Times reports. “They caused damage to Tyco and to others, including the shareholders who are Tyco’s owners and who, like the investing public, generally should be able to rely on the integrity of the management of publicly traded companies.”

Both men will be eligible for parole after serving eight and one-third years of their sentence. After six years they may be eligible for work-release.

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