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April 04, 2003
Tyco Files $400M Lawsuit against Former Finance Chief
Tyco International Ltd. filed a $400 million lawsuit against its former finance chief, alleging the executive received hundreds of millions of dollars in improper payments, the Boston Globe reports.

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The company says it filed the civil lawsuit in Manhattan after it failed to negotiate a settlement through arbitration with Mark Swartz, who was the company's chief financial officer from 1995 through August 2002.

"… Swartz improperly took Tyco funds and assets personally and aided, abetted and facilitated the misappropriation of Tyco funds and assets by others,'' the lawsuit alleges.

An attorney for Swartz tells the newspaper the lawsuit is a "publicity stunt," adding that his client wished to put off the arbitration until the completion of his criminal trial, which is scheduled to begin in September. In an indictment for the criminal trial, prosecutors alleged Swartz and former chief executive L. Dennis Kozlowski engineered a scheme in which they took $600 million in unauthorized payments, according to the newspaper. Both pleaded not guilty to the charges.

''As we have previously communicated to Tyco, we believe the appropriate time for such an arbitration is following the conclusion of the criminal case,'' says Charles Stillman. ''There is no fair reason for Tyco to commence this court action now.''

The Tyco lawsuit claims that Swartz abused executive loan and relocation programs for his personal benefit, and in the process misled the company's compensation committee, the Globe reports. According to the complaint, the executive manipulated the company to pay for perks that included homes and apartments, tuition for his children's private schools, tickets to sporting events, a helicopter ride for his wife, and travel on the company's airplane, the newspaper reports.


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