L. Dennis Kozlowski, the former chief executive of Tyco International who was convicted of looting the company of $150 million, has been sentenced to 8 1/3 to 25 years in prison, reports the New York Times. Mark H. Swartz, his chief lieutenant, received the same sentence. New York state judge Michael Obus ordered Kozlowski to pay $167 million and Swartz $72 million in restitution and fines.
Substantial terms have been imposed in other recent white-collar crime cases, including Bernard Ebbers of WorldCom, who got a prison term of 25 years, and John Rigas of the cable operator Adelphia Communications, who was sentenced to 15 years. The Tyco sentencing may be the last high-profile corporate misconduct case before the most prominent one of all: the trial next year of Kenneth L. Lay and Jeffrey K. Skilling of Enron. “It would be a mistake to confuse [the Tyco sentences] with leniency,” said Robert A. Mintz, a former federal prosecutor and now a partner at McCarter & English. “For these two former executives, even several years in a state prison will be a very long stretch of time.”