September 19, 2005
Ex-CEO of Tyco Sentenced
Posted by Christine Hurt

I guess I'll have to fill the Kozlowski void here and note that the ex-CEO of Tyco was sentenced today -- 8 1/2 to 25 -- in NY state court.  At first when I saw the news, I was annoyed by the press's use of the word "stealing," but then I remembered that Kozlowski was indicted on (and convicted of) charges of grand larceny.  That is stealing, and we've had laws against stealing for awhile.  So, while I am more sympathetic of other corporate defendants for receiving harsh penalties for what Prof. Ribstein refers to as agency losses, stealing is an agency loss I am fine with keeping criminalized.  (The larceny referred to multi-million dollar loans that Kozlowski and another officer made to themselves, without notifying shareholders.  Although Kozlowski maintained that the board OK'd the loans, no documentation existed to back up that claim.  These types of loans are currently addressed by Sarbox.)  There was a definite danger of an unusually large penalty due to a trial based in large part on his excessive lifestyle, but the resulting sentence was not the maximum.  Not that I would be excited to spend 8 1/2 years or more in a state prison or that the sentence fits the crime. . . .

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Comments (2)

1. Posted by slickdpdx on September 19, 2005 @ 22:09 | Permalink

I think 8 1/3 to 25 IS the maximum on a Class 'B' non-violent felony. But I've been out of the game a couple of years. I suppose he could have been sentenced to serve consecutive terms of incarceration rather than concurrent, and in that respect gotten more time. BTW I think the minimum would be 1-3.

2. Posted by Shag from Brookline on September 20, 2005 @ 5:15 | Permalink

Will this sentence act as a deterrent? I doubt it. White collar criminals in the making are well aware of the potential financial killing they can make, and that most likely they may get away with it (like the tax lottery game). Sort of cost/benefit/risk analysis going through their minds? Frankly, I don't think risk of the death penalty would stop them.

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