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Kozlowski in Jail: Washing Clothes, Teaching Math

Bertha Coombs,|CNBC Reporter
Tuesday, 13 Nov 2007 | 4:19 PM ET

Dennis Kozlowski has gone from the pinnacle of corporate power to the prison laundry, where he is washing other inmates' clothes when he's not helping them get their high school diplomas, the disgraced Tyco CEO says in an interview with CNBC.

Kozlowski, sentenced to up to 25 years in prison for misappropriating more than $400 million of company funds, is in the second year of his term at the Mid-State Correctional Facility in Marcy, N.Y.

Despite the precipitous decline in his living accommodations, Kozlowski tries to keep positive.

"I'm adjusting as best as I possibly can, trying to stay upbeat and focused," he says.

Still, he maintains his conviction was unjust and insists he didn't take anything from the company to which he was not entitled.

Kozlowski's trial epitomized corporate greed and largesse. According to testimony, Kozlowski took $150 million in unauthorized bonuses, and he was convicted of fraud against shareholders totaling $400 million.

He became known for his lavish lifestyle and exorbitant parties, including a $1 million soiree for his wife Kathy, who is now divorcing him, that Tyco paid for.

But he says his wealth was garnered through the company's strong performance.

Kozlowski Speaks
The former Tyco chief is still fighting to have his conviction thrown out, reports CNBC's Bertha Coombs

"The number of shares that were awarded me doubled and split, doubled in value again and split - that's how you get to some very big numbers," Kozlowski says. "It was the performance of the stock."

Now, his thrills come from teaching math to prisoners.

"That's been enjoyable, when you begin with a student and they're having difficulties with math or division and having that breakthrough, when they realize they can now multiply and divide and go on to word problems," he says. "It's been the most worthwhile thing I personally feel I can be doing here."

The interview is part of CNBC's "American Greed" unit. Excerpts will be shown throughout the day Tuesday, with the full interview airing in January.

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