Tentative Date Set For Tyco Trial
Ex-CEO Allowed 4-Week Colo. TripNov 13, 2002 | AP
A judge set a trial date of no later than June 1 for Dennis Kozlowski, the former Tyco International Inc. chief executive charged with stealing up to $600 million, and gave him permission to take a four-week holiday trip to his estates in Colorado's ski country.
State Supreme Court Justice Michael Obus set the tentative trial date Tuesday for Kozlowski and Mark Swartz, Tyco's former chief financial officer, while working out schedules for motions and for exchange of materials between the defense and prosecution.
Kozlowski, 55, and Swartz, 41, have been indicted on larceny and related charges in connection with the alleged theft of $600 million from Tyco.
Both defendants have pleaded not guilty. Kozlowski is free on $100 million bail and Swartz is out on $50 million bail.
Over objections from the prosecution, the judge modified Kozlowski's bail restrictions so he could visit Colorado for four weeks - from Dec. 20 to Jan. 15. Kozlowski owns three properties near Vail in Eagle County, including a 17-room mansion, a resort condominium, and an undeveloped lot.
"Mr. Kozlowski does not want to miss the Christmas holidays. People who invested in Tyco stock may not be able to afford a Christmas," said John Moscow, the assistant district attorney in charge of the case.
"I'm not here to punish them, at this point," the judge responded.
Obus also said Swartz could travel to California to spend the holidays with his in-laws. The judge, noting that the in-laws posted a large part of the security for Swartz's bail, said it was appropriate for him to visit them during the holidays.
Obus scheduled the next court date for Feb. 7.
Tyco, based in Bermuda, with U.S. offices in Exeter, N.H., has been under fire from shareholders and regulators over charges of improper payments to top executives.
Kozlowski resigned in June before he was indicted on charges of evading New York sales taxes.
Kozlowski also has been charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission with taking $242 million in loans from a program meant to help Tyco employees buy company shares.
Former corporate counsel Mark Belnick also has pleaded not guilty to charges that he falsified business records to cover up $14 million in improper loans.
Several directors have resigned amid accusations they knew what Kozlowski was doing and that they also benefited from improper payments.