Ex-Tyco CEO Kozlowski says he stole out of pure greed

Thu Dec 5, 2013 5:27pm EST
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By Karen Freifeld

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Disgraced ex-Tyco International Ltd chief executive Dennis Kozlowski, who was granted parole this week after serving an eight-year prison sentence, said simple greed had led him to steal more than $150 million from the company, a transcript of a parole board hearing released Thursday showed.

"It was greed, pure and simple," the 67-year-old former executive told a New York State parole panel at a December 3 video conference hearing. "I feel horrible ... I can't say how sorry I am and how deeply I regret my actions."

The panel granted Kozlowski's parole bid on Tuesday and he is scheduled to be formally released on January 17.

A poster boy for the corporate excesses of the 1990s bull market, Kozlowski went to prison after a trial that featured a $6,000 shower curtain and video of a $2 million party with ice sculptures of Michelangelo's David spewing vodka.

He was sentenced in 2005 to 8-1/3 to 25 years in prison following his conviction on grand larceny, securities fraud and other charges.

At Tuesday's parole hearing, he told the panel he took unauthorized bonuses over three or four years. He said over $100 million went to a deferred income account, "where it sits to this day."

Kozlowski said he tried to "make up for" his crimes by selling homes and liquidating investments to pay $134 million in court-ordered restitution and a $70 million fine.

Kozlowski's share of the restitution was $97 million. His co-defendant Mark Swartz, Tyco's former chief finance officer, paid $37 million.   Continued...

Former chief executive of Tyco International Dennis Kozlowski and wife Karen leave New York State Supreme Court. REUTERS/Seth Wenig