Until July 8: Albemarle land-baron's trial postponed

The federal tax-evasion trial of the former chief financial officer for Tyco International has been postponed until July 8. Mark Swartz, who pleaded innocent, had been scheduled to go on trial in U.S. District Court in Concord, New Hampshire, on Tuesday, April 15, tax day.

Swartz is famous locally for making the most expensive property grab in Albemarle County. In February 2001, he paid $17 or $18 million for a historic 1,400-acre estate called Enniscorthy.

Charles Stillman, Swartz's lawyer, had asked for the trial postponement until after Swartz's other trial– in New York City on charges that he took more than $600 million from the company, currently scheduled for September 29. Prosecutors agreed to accept a delay of no more than 90 days, said Assistant U.S. Attorney William Morse. Judge Joseph DiClerico issued an order setting the new trial date.

In February, a federal grand jury in Concord indicted Swartz on charges he allegedly failed to pay federal income taxes on bonuses he received in 1999.

Tyco, which is based in Bermuda but has headquarters in New Hampshire, makes everything from coat hangers to security systems and medical devices.

In September, Swartz and former Tyco Chief Executive L. Dennis Kozlowski were indicted on New York state charges of stealing $600 million from Tyco in unauthorized compensation and illicit stock sales. Both men pleaded innocent.

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In April, Tyco filed a $400 million lawsuit against Swartz, claiming he looted the conglomerate for his personal gain. The suit accuses Swartz of using Tyco funds to buy a $16.5 million Manhattan apartment, tickets to Miami Heat basketball and Florida Panthers hockey games, cable television service, country club memberships, and concert tickets for Billy Joel and Elton John performances. It also accuses Swartz of accepting more than $134 million in pay from 1997 to 2002 for "services that were never rendered'' and awarding himself tens of millions of dollars in unauthorized bonuses.

In a statement, Swartz's attorney Charles Stillman branded the Tyco suit "no more than a public relations stunt.''