Print-industry probe: Three execs plead guilty to federal fraud charges

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Three printing-industry executives pleaded guilty last week in federal court to charges of committing mail fraud and other illegal activity. The pleas arise from an ongoing federal probe of bid rigging, commercial bribery and tax-related offenses in the marketing-communications industry.

Gabriel Casas, a former salesperson at Manhattan-based graphic-services firm Color Wheel, pleaded guilty Sept. 26 to two counts of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and one count of antitrust conspiracy. Sentencing is set for Jan. 10, 2003. Howard Marlin, owner and chief executive of Caysun Graphics, New York, a brokerage of printing and related services, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit tax fraud. Sentencing for Mr. Marlin has not yet been set. Bertram Cohen, CEO and owner, Darbert Offset Corp., Manhattan, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and to one count of conspiring to defraud the Internal Revenue Service and commit tax fraud. His sentencing is set for Jan. 6, 2003.


Ivan Glick, a print broker who pleaded guilty in March to charges of conspiring to defraud the U.S., tax evasion and an antitrust violation, is connected to parties involved in each of the cases. Mr. Glick, a longtime representative of Color Wheel, Mr. Casas' employer, admitted involvement in a kickback scheme that defrauded clients of Impact, an ad agency in Manhattan.

Both Mr. Marlin and Mr. Cohen, according to court documents, authorized payments of kickbacks to an unnamed Impact employee to ensure that each of their firms would receive business. Mr. Glick is described as Mr. Marlin's co-conspirator in court documents.

Court documents filed last week in Southern District of New York related to Mr. Casas' case describe a scheme in which two of Mr. Casas' former colleagues-Color Wheel owner Haluk Ergulec, and Birj Deckmejian, a Color Wheel salesperson-were allegedly involved. Also named in the court papers: Mitchell Mosallem, former exec VP-director, graphic services at Grey Global Group's Grey Advertising, and a longtime Color Wheel client ( QwikFIND aao02w). For example, Mr. Casas, according to court papers, "periodically showed [lists of monies added to Colorwheel clients' invoices] to Mr. Mosallem, Ergulec and Deckmejian to update them on the status of the scheme."

Messrs. Mosallem, Ergulec and Deckmejian were indicted in May on various charges resulting from the federal probe of the marketing-communications industry, and all three have pleaded not guilty.

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