A state judge Tuesday denied a request by prosecutors to jail two former top Tyco International Ltd. executives until they are sentenced next month on charges of stealing hundreds of millions of dollars from the company.
Manhattan prosecutors had argued that L. Dennis Kozlowski, former chief executive officer of Tyco, and Mark H. Swartz, the company’s former finance chief, were risks to flee before their sentencing on Sept. 19.
“We continue to believe there is a substantial flight risk in this case,” said Assistant District Attorney Owen Heimer during a brief hearing. He said the defendants have “significant resources” at their disposal and face lengthy prison sentences.
“The only difference between this case and any other case in this courthouse is the staggering amount of money these defendants have now been convicted of stealing,” Heimer told state Supreme Court Justice Michael Obus.
Defense lawyers pointed out to Obus that their clients had shown up for every court appearance they were supposed to attend.
Kozlowski’s lawyer, Stephen Kaufman, said that Heimer’s suggestion that Kozlowski might flee was “unfair and unfounded.”
Swartz’s lawyer, Charles Stillman, said: “My client’s been here since Day One.” On Tuesday, Swartz arrived sporting a new beard and his normally thick, curly hair was shorn into a buzz cut. Later, in response to reporters’ questions, he said he liked the look on his son and had decided to copy it.
Obus, though noting that the defendants’ situation changed after the verdicts because mandatory sentences apply, said he believed it was unlikely the pair would flee. “I will leave the bail conditions as they are in this case,” he said.
Kozlowski, 58, and Swartz, 44, are free on bail totaling millions of dollars. Convicted in June of looting Tyco of nearly $600 million, they each face a maximum of 30 years in prison and a minimum of one year.
The judge also told Kaufman that they would discuss Kozlowski’s New York state tax case, related to the former CEO’s purchase of expensive art, on Sept. 19.