This post from awhile back noted one of the by-products of the current trend toward criminalizing merely questionable business transactions — i.e., the government’s destruction of good reputations in its quest to obtain convictions against unpopular defendants.
Along those lines, this U.S.A. Today article from yesterday catches up with Mark Belnick, the former Paul Weiss partner and Tyco general counsel who was indicted and acquitted in connection with the prosecutions of former Tyco executives after he had coordinated the company’s cooperation with the criminal investigation of former Tyco executives Dennis Kozlowski and Mark Swartz. Here is a longer New York Magazine article on Mr. Belnick’s ordeal.
In the article, Mr. Belnick discusses with the reporter the misery that he endured during a prosecution that was based upon grand larceny charges for compensation that was Tyco’s CEO and CFO indisputably approved:
“When I was threatened with grand larceny, I thought, ‘What did I steal — my stock bonus?’ ” says Belnick. “I didn’t even understand what the theory of grand larceny could be here.”
During the trial, the prosecution described Belnick as a “man who lost his moral compass” and accepted excessive compensation that he knew was a payoff for his silence about wrongdoing committed by Messrs. Kozlowski and Swartz. This, of course, after the same prosecutor had received Mr. Belnick’s assistance in uncovering the alleged wrongdoing by Messrs. Kozlowski and Swartz.
So it goes in the continuing criminalization of agency costs.