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Ex-CFO at Tyco Tells of Lapses in Tax Filings

February 24, 2004|From Reuters

NEW YORK — Former Tyco International Ltd. finance chief Mark Swartz told jurors Monday that he did not pay New York state income taxes for three years and a $12.5-million bonus he received in 1999 was not disclosed when he filed his federal tax returns.

The former chief financial officer said he did not pay New York income taxes even though he took advantage of relocation benefits when Tyco moved him and other corporate staff from New Hampshire to New York City in the mid-1990s.

Swartz said he was a New Hampshire resident in 1995, 1996 and 1997, the years he did not file New York income tax returns. But he conceded his family lived in New York City during that time and that Tyco's relocation program helped pay for his children's tuition.

Swartz said he spent most of his work time in New Hampshire, where Tyco had corporate offices.

Swartz has since paid New York state to settle the dispute over unpaid taxes, his defense lawyer Charles Stillman said.

Stillman described the settlement as "a chunk of dough," but declined to elaborate.

Investigators from the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Internal Revenue Service are following the trial closely in case anything is disclosed that their agencies could use against the defendants.

It was the sixth day of testimony for Swartz, who probably will be the only defense witness in a corruption trial accusing him and former Tyco Chairman L. Dennis Kozlowski of looting the Pembroke, Bermuda-based company of $600 million. Both men deny any wrongdoing.

Last year, a federal grand jury in New Hampshire indicted Swartz on a charge he evaded nearly $5 million in federal income taxes in connection with the $12.5-million bonus in 1999. Prosecutors later dropped the case because it was filed in the wrong jurisdiction. The charge is expected to be refiled after the end of the criminal trial, now in its fifth month, in Manhattan.

Manhattan Assistant Dist. Atty. Marc Scholl introduced Swartz's 1999 W-2 form Monday, which stated he earned about $10.6 million. That same year, Swartz received a $12.5-million bonus from Tyco, but the former CFO could not explain why it was left off the disclosure to the IRS.

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