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Former Tyco executives near end of prison

Dennis Kozlowski (left) and Mark Swartz face parole hearings in corporate fraud case.

Dennis Kozlowski (left) and Mark Swartz face parole hearings in corporate fraud case.

ALBANY, N.Y. — They face parole hearings soon, but ex-Tyco executives Dennis Kozlowski and Mark Swartz have already left a minimum-security prison in Harlem for steady clerical jobs and overnights in apartments, one of the last criminal stages of their headline-grabbing $134 million corporate fraud convictions.

Kozlowski, former chief executive, and ex-chief financial officer Swartz are required now to only report twice weekly to the Lincoln Correctional Facility.

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Defense attorneys say the men collectively paid $134 million in restitution to Tyco and $105 million in fines to the state after their 2005 convictions. They were sentenced to 8 to 25 years in prison for 22 counts of grand larceny, conspiracy, falsifying records, and violating business law.

‘‘I believe he should be paroled,’’ said Kozlowski’s attorney, Alan Lewis. He said his client didn’t get any special treatment in getting placed in the work-release program.

Kozlowski’s parole hearing, after two recent postponements, is now scheduled for the week of Dec. 2.

Attorney Charles Stillman confirmed that Swartz paid all his financial penalties, but he declined to comment further. Swartz’s parole hearing is scheduled for next week.

Swartz, 53, has been working as a law office assistant, while 66-year-old Kozlowski is a clerk at a software company.

Their lawyers and state officials won’t say exactly where the men are working or living.

The Manhattan district attorney’s office, which opposed Kozlowski’s parole bid last year, is also opposing his new request, spokeswoman Erin Duggan said Monday. The former Tyco chief, who became an emblem of corporate excess, and his CFO were prosecuted under then-District Attorney Robert Morgenthau.

The release programs are for inmates considered nonviolent, with each individual and job approved by a corrections department committee. The panel has authority to reject any work in which the inmate has an opportunity to repeat past crimes. ‘‘Technically you’re still an inmate,’’ corrections spokeswoman Linda Foglia said. ‘‘You’re following a strict contract.’’

The Parole Board concluded in April 2012 that Kozlowski’s release would undermine respect for the law. He got an early hearing because he had accrued merit time in prison.

Kozlowski told the parole officials he’d turned down an informal offer to plead guilty in exchange for a sentence of two to six years, saying he rationalized that he wasn’t guilty. Jurors heard about Kozlowski’s $6,000 gold-threaded shower curtain and a $2 million birthday party he threw for his wife on the Mediterranean island of Sardinia.

‘‘I knew I was doing something wrong at some level when I did it. My conscience told me one thing, but my sense of entitlement allowed me to rationalize what I did,’’ Kozlowski told the board. ‘‘After I was in prison for a bit and thinking hard about what I did, I recognized my rationalizations were just that.’’

Kozlowski and Swartz were accused of giving themselves as much as $150 million in illegal bonuses and forgiving millions of dollars in loans to themselves, while manipulating the security systems company’s stock price by lying about its finances.

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