Kozlowski was convicted on June 17 2005 for misappropriation of Tyco's corporate funds, among other charges. The prosecution won a total of 22 counts of grand larceny for $150 million in unauthorized bonuses. He was convicted of fraud against the company shareholders for an amount of more than $400 million.
Kozlowski himself, commenting on his trial in a March 2007 interview with the CBS television newsmagazine 60 Minutes, told Morley Safer, "I was a guy sitting in a courtroom making $100 million a year [a]nd I think a juror sitting there just would have to say, 'All that money? He must have done something wrong.' I think ... it's as simple as that."
Kozlowski, however, asserted his innocence by stating, "I am absolutely not guilty of the charges... . There was no criminal intent here. Nothing was hidden. There were no shredded documents... . All the information the prosecutors got was directly off the books and records of the company."
It's fair to say that Kozlowski and Swartz abused many corporate prerogatives and that they invented new ones just so they could abuse them. They acted like pigs, as a lot of CEOs act like pigs. Still, the larceny charges at the heart of the case did not depend on whether the defendants took the money--they did--but whether they were authorized to take it. Questions of authority are, by nature, legal questions, not questions for jurors. Much has been made of how the second Tyco trial was less of a circus than the first one. That's true, but only by comparison.
Tyco paid $1 million (half the bill) for the 40th birthday party of Kozlowski's wife, Karen M. Kozlowski. The extravagant party, held on the Italian island of Sardinia, featured an ice sculpture of the Statue of David urinating Stolichnaya vodka. This birthday bash was disguised as a shareholder meeting in order to get corporate funding. In a camcorder video, Dennis Kozlowski states that this party will bring out a Tyco core competency - the ability to party hard. Subsequently, this shareholder meeting/birthday party became known as the Tyco Roman Orgy.
On July 31 2006, Karen Kozlowski filed for divorce in Palm Beach County, Florida. No specific reasons were cited, but the motion asks the court to equitably distribute the couple's assets and liabilities and asks that gifts Karen received be declared marital property. She also seeks a lien on the couple's Boca Raton mansion. Finally, the motion requested alimony.
Homo Wealthius: Tyco's Dennis Kozlowski isn't crazy or greedy or stupid. He's just a member of a different species.
Oct 23, 2002; I needed to find that $6,000 shower curtain. Of all the big-ticket items that turned up last week in Tyco's internal corruption...
Convincing your board that you're not Dennis Kozlowski: back in September, The New York Times' "Market Watch" column warned, "too many executives are up to the same old tricks of managing earnings ... and too many boards are permitting this behavior because they are inept or inert, or both. (a)".(Treasury Management)
Feb 01, 2004; That last phrase has a bite to it that would make any hospital trustee cringe--and react in ways that could make any executive...