The White House Drug Office Advertising Case

TWO FORMER OGILVY & MATHER EXECS PLEAD NOT GUILTY

Handcuffed Defendants Appear in U.S. District Court

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Two former executives of WPP Group's Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide pleaded not guilty today to charges of defrauding the federal government with overbillings for White House drug office advertising services.
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Full Background:
BACKGROUND: THE WHITE HOUSE DRUG OFFICE ADVERTISING CASE
The Stories From 2001 to the Present

Read the 14-page indictment .pdf

U.S. District Court
Thomas Early, until today a senior partner and director of finance at Ogilvy, and Shona Seifert, a former senior partner and executive group director, entered their pleas in the chambers of U.S. District Court Judge Richard Berman in lower Manhattan this afternoon.

Both were brought into court in handcuffs.

Mr. Early and Ms. Seifert each are charged with one count of conspiracy and 10 counts of false claims. If convicted of all counts, each faces up to 100 months in prison. Each was released on $25,000 cash bail or the equivalent and personal recognizance. They were required to surrender their passports.

Labor costs
Federal prosecutors allege Mr. Early and Ms. Seifert inflated Ogilvy's labor costs from May 1999 through April 2000 on the $145 million White House Office of National Drug Control Policy account.

Mr. Early, 48, and Ms. Seifert, 43, allegedly directed certain Ogilvy employees to revise already completed time sheets to show they had worked longer on the contract than recorded and to record on the time sheets that they'd spent a specified amount of time on the account whether they actually worked that time or not.

The attorney for Mr. Early is Laurence Urgenson a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Kirkland & Ellis. Ms. Seifert is represented by Gregory Craig, partner in Williams & Connolly, also in Washington. Mr. Craig represented former U.S. president Bill Clinton during his impeachment trial.

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