Tyco lawyer denies fraud charges in NY

Tyco International’s former general counsel is to face trial for grand larceny after a New York Supreme Court judge refused to throw out a series of charges against the lawyer.
Mark Belnick, previously a partner at Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison before joining Tyco in 1998, had been hoping the court would drop the charge of grand larceny, which carries a maximum 25-year prison sentence.
Belnick, who has pleaded not guilty to all charges, has also been charged with six counts of falsifying business records. Justice Michael Obus said he needs more time to consider charges that Belnick had conspired with Tyco’s former chief executive and chief financial officer and that he received a bonus of $12m (£7.5m), unauthorised by Tyco’s board, for fending off a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigation. The SEC probe ended in 2001 after no charges were brought and Belnick was fired from Tyco in June last year.
Belnick is just one of a number of US in-housers at the centre of such scandals: last month David Klarman, US Wireless Corp’s general counsel, was one of two executives charged with securities fraud; HBO & Co’s general counsel is facing fraud allegations connected with the McKesson Corp merger; and Franklin Brown, a former general counsel and vice-president, was charged with others over accounting practices at drugstore group Rite Aid.