BOSTON – While former Tyco International Ltd. chairman Dennis Kozlowski allegedly committed more than $100 million of the conglomerate's money to good causes, his own foundation gave little to charity, U.S. tax records show.
The Kozlowski Family Foundation made only one donation in 2000, and that was for $3,000, according to the non-profit's latest available filing with the Internal Revenue Service.
The foundation reported $534,473 in assets at the end of 2000.
New York Prosecutors and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission last week accused Kozlowski of carrying out a massive theft and fraud scheme totaling more than $600 million. Kozlowski was one of the best paid U.S. CEOs during the past decade.
Tyco also claims in a lawsuit filed last week that Kozlowski improperly used company funds to promote himself as a generous benefactor. From 1997 to 2002, Kozlowski committed donations and pledges to charities with more than $106 million of Tyco's money, according to the Tyco lawsuit.
"At least $43 million of these donations were made for his personal benefit or were represented as his personal donations," Tyco alleges.
In one instance, Kozlowski pledged $10 million of Tyco's money to the California International Sailing Association in his name, the lawsuit alleges. Other Tyco contributions were made in Kozlowski's name to schools, colleges and hospitals in which Kozlowski had a personal connection.
Shackleton Schools, the Boston-based nonprofit that received the 2000 donation from Kozlowski's family foundation, has celebrated Kozlowski's personal support while naming his daughter to its board of directors.
Before Kozlowski started championing the alternative school's cause, its students slept in tents in a rural patch of Massachusetts.
Tyco and Kozlowski contributed nearly $4 million to the school, according to Luke O'Neill, the school's founder. O'Neill told Reuters in June that Kozlowski personally contributed most of that amount.
Formed in mid-1998, Kozlowski's New Hampshire-based foundation reported $10,168 in assets that year. No contributions were disclosed that year.
But the foundation's assets surged the following year after Kozlowski contributed $500,000 in cash to the charitable trust, according to financial disclosures to the IRS. The foundation's only contribution in 1999 was for $265 to the Tolstoy Foundation Inc., records show.
Shackleton Schools appealed to Kozlowski because its education ideals are based on exploration and the non-profit bears the name of the intrepid South Pole explorer Ernest Shackleton. Tyco accuses Kozlowski of using $700,000 in corporate funds for his personal investment in a movie about Shackleton's life.