Attorney Stephen Kaufman said his client, L. Dennis Kozlowski, caused Tyco’s stock price to leap from $5.17 a share in 1993 to $51.88 in 2000. ”While the extraordinary success of this company cannot be attributed to one person,” Kaufman said, ”one person was an extraordinary factor, and that was Dennis.”
Kaufman said Kozlowski earned — and the board of directors and internal and external auditors were aware of — every penny he received from Tyco. ”He never robbed; he’s not a thief. He never stole from the company,” Kaufman said.
They have charged Kozlowski, 57, and Tyco’s former chief financial officer, Mark H. Swartz, 43, with looting the company of $600 million to finance lavish lifestyles. Both are on trial in Manhattan’s state Supreme Court.
Charles Stillman, attorney for Swartz, presented his six-hour summation last week. He told the jury that after 47 prosecution witnesses and 700-plus exhibits, there was ”not one thimble full of proof” against Swartz.
Monday evening, Stillman complained to Justice Michael Obus that nine days had passed since he spoke to the jury. The trial was delayed last week because of Kaufman’s flu. Stillman asked Obus to let him speak briefly to the jury again today.
The judge said he would consider Stillman’s highly unusual request today after Kaufman concludes his summation.
Kaufman mentioned a video of the $2 million party Kozlowski threw for his wife’s 40th birthday on the Italian island of Sardinia in the Mediterranean in June 2001.
The tape, played for the jury during the trial, showed scantily clad young men and women who danced and served, and featured singer Jimmy Buffet, flown in at a cost of $250,000. Half the bill — $1 million — was paid by Tyco as a ”business” meeting.