His co-defendant, former Tyco finance chief Mark Swartz, received the same sentence on Monday, which means they will be eligible for parole after eight years and four months.

The judge also ordered them to pay a total of $134 million in restitution. In addition, Kozlowski was fined $70 million and Swartz $35 million.

Family members wept in the gallery as the sentences were imposed.

The sentences end a case that exposed the executives' extravagant lifestyle after pilfering some $600 million from the company including a $2 million toga birthday party for Kozlowski's wife on a Mediterranean island and an $18 million Manhattan apartment with a $6000 shower curtain.

Four-month trial

Kozlowski, 58, and Swartz, 44, were convicted in June after a four-month trial on 22 counts of grand larceny, falsifying business records, securities fraud and conspiracy.

Kozlowski joins a line of other
jailed American executives

It was their second trial - the first ended in mistrial after a juror said she received threats following reports that she made an "OK" signal to the defence team.

Kozlowski and Swartz join a line of other executives sent off to prison in a wave of white-collar scandals that shook corporate America and outraged the public after thousands of people lost their jobs and pension nest-eggs.

WorldCom Chairman Bernard Ebbers was sentenced to 25 years in prison for the $11 billion accounting fraud that toppled the telecommunications company that emerged from bankrutpcy as MCI Inc.

Adelphia Communications Corp founder John Rigas was sentenced to 15 years in prison for his role in the looting and fraud at that cable TV company.

His son and former finance chief, Timothy Rigas, got 20 years.