Tyco Jurors Get Clarifications on Two Charges

Jurors on Thursday heard a judge clarify two charges against former Tyco International (TYC) executives L. Dennis Kozlowski (search) and Mark Swartz (search) — securities fraud and conspiracy to commit grand larceny and possess stolen property.

Requests to reread explanations of the charges — the final two in the list of 32 counts — came Wednesday as the jury ended its 10th day of deliberations. The panel also asked for a "slower" reading of 68 acts that prosecutors say constitute the conspiracy count.

Justice Michael Obus of state Supreme Court delivered the 45-minute reading Thursday morning. Then jurors filed out to begin their 11th day of deliberations.

The judge announced Wednesday that he had denied the defense's latest mistrial motion and sealed the record of the discussion in chambers about it.

That motion was made Tuesday by Charles Stillman, lead lawyer for Swartz's defense team, who referred to "venomous" attacks on juror No. 4 in Internet chat rooms.

Some reporters speculated that juror No. 4 was the panelist who brought deliberations to a halt after deciding that the prosecution had not proved its case.

One note last week described the jury room atmosphere as "poisonous" and said deliberations had been "compromised." But the resumption of deliberations Monday apparently marked a reduction in the acrimony among the jurors.

Later Monday, Obus rejected a motion for a mistrial by Stephen Kaufman, one of Kozlowski's lawyers. Kaufman said he was concerned that the juror, apparently holding out for acquittal, might feel coerced to abandon a genuinely held view.

Kozlowski, 57, Tyco's former CEO whose $6,000 shower curtain made him a symbol of end-of-the-millennium corporate greed and excess, and Swartz, 43, the company's former chief financial officer, are accused of a looting the company of $600 million.

The two former executives are charged with 32 counts of grand larceny, falsifying business records, conspiracy and violating state business laws by securities fraud. Each could face up to 30 years in prison if convicted.

The defense says all money and benefits received by the defendants was known to internal and external auditors and approved by members of Tyco's board of directors.

Prosecutors in the nearly six-month trial charge that secretly forgiven loans and multimillion-dollar unauthorized bonus grabs were among the ways Kozlowski and Swartz stole from the company while they were running it.