Risk Management

Tyco Judge Throws Out Most Serious Charge

Koslowski and Swartz won't be tried for enterprise corruption, an allegation usually leveled at organized-crime figures.
Stephen TaubMarch 8, 2004

The two former top executives of Tyco International currently on trial for looting about $600 million from the conglomerate received a rare bit of good news from a judge on Friday.

Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Michael Obus threw out an enterprise- corruption charge against former chief executive officer Dennis Koslowski and former CFO Mark Swartz. That allegation, which carries up to 25 years in prison if it leads to a conviction, was deemed the most serious of the charges in their 33-count indictment, according to reports.

Kozlowski and Swartz each still face up to 25 years in prison on some of the other charges, including grand larceny, conspiracy, securities fraud, and falsifying business records, according to Reuters.

Summations are expected to begin today, and jurors are expected to start deliberating later in the week.

Last month, before the trial began, Obus reportedly upheld the enterprise-corruption charge based on the theory that there could be a two-man enterprise. But he expressed doubt about applying the allegation, which is usually reserved for organized crime figures, according to Reuters.

The judge was reported to have said then that the decision was “hardly a ringing endorsement of the application of the statute and its context,” said Reuters.

The prosecutors had alleged that Kozlowski and Swartz created an enterprise to obtain money by theft, fraud, false records, and bribery. At a hearing on Friday without jurors present, Obus said that he had “concluded that submission of the enterprise-corruption count would not be appropriate in this case,” according to Bloomberg.

Defense attorneys had also asked Obus to throw out securities-fraud charges against the two men, arguing that prosecutors haven’t clearly identified a victim of the alleged fraud, the wire service added.

The defense is also seeking dismissal of several larceny counts, arguing that the alleged thefts didn’t occur in New York, it noted.

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