NEW YORK – Ex-Tyco International Ltd. (TYC) head Dennis Kozlowski (search) and his former finance chief Mark Swartz (search) were sentenced Monday to eight-and-a-third to 25 years in prison for stealing hundreds of millions of dollars from the company.
The sentence was handed down by Judge Michael Obus, who presided over the pair's larceny and conspiracy trial in Manhattan Supreme Court.
The two former executives were also ordered to pay total restitution of $134 million and were taken from the court in handcuffs.
Kozlowski, who as chief executive was credited with building Tyco into one of the world's biggest manufacturing conglomerates, and Swartz were convicted of stealing more than $150 million from the company through secretly forgiven loans and undeserved bonuses.
Kozlowski and Swartz also were accused of defrauding investors by selling $575 million in Tyco stock while misrepresenting the company's finances.
An earlier trial of the two men ended in a mistrial.
Assistant District Attorney Owen Heimer told the judge that Kozlowski "should not be shown any leniency."
"He stole. He committed fraud. He committed perjury," Heimer said. "He engaged in a shocking spree of self-indulgence."
But Kozlowski asked the judge to be as "lenient as possible" and to consider "all the positive things I have done in my life." His lawyer, Stephen E. Kaufman, read from letters written on his client's behalf and said, "He's a good man. He's a decent person and his reputation has been tarnished but his life should not be destroyed."
Swartz also asked for leniency, and his lawyer, Charles A. Stillman, said he was a man of "remarkable decency."
Kozlowski, employed by Tyco from 1975 until 2002, and Swartz, who joined Tyco in 1991 and left in 2002, testified that they never stole anything from Tyco or received anything from the company to which they were not entitled.
They were also quick to point out that unlike corruption cases at WorldCom and Enron, Tyco continued to thrive after the scandal.
"Tyco is not Enron," Thomas Curran, a former New York City prosecutor who is now a defense lawyer, said last week. "Tyco is a real company with a real business plan that still employs thousands of people. ... There are no retirees eating cat food because of Dennis Kozlowski."
Tyco, which has about 250,000 employees and $40 billion in annual revenue, makes electronics and medical supplies and owns the ADT home security (search) business. Nominally based in Bermuda, its operations headquarters are in West Windsor, N.J.
The Tyco case was one of a string of government prosecutions aimed at convicting corporate chieftains of boardroom wrongdoings.
Former WorldCom (search) CEO Bernard Ebbers (search) was sentenced in July to 25 years in prison for orchestrating a massive fraud at the telecommunications company — a sentence that surprised many legal observers for its severity.
Adelphia Communications Corp. (search) founder John Rigas (search) was ordered in June to serve 15 years in prison for conspiring to loot the cable company of millions of dollars. Both Ebbers and Rigas, who is 80 and in frail health, have been allowed to stay out of jail while they pursue appeals.
Reuters and the Associated Press contributed to this report.