BOTH SIDES AGREE TO CONTINUANCE IN GREY-COLOR WHEEL CASE

Former Grey VP Mitchell Mosallen Will Not Appear in Court Today

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Federal prosecutors and the attorney for a key figure in the investigation of alleged illegal business dealings involving Grey Worldwide and graphics suppliers have apparently agreed to a continuance, according to people familiar with the case.

Court documents had not been filed by press time but sources said federal authorities and the lawyer for Mitchell E. Mosallen, the former Grey executive vice president and

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director of graphic services, had both signed an application for continuance.

Mr. Mosallem, who is accused of mail fraud for allegedly organizing a scheme with graphics suppliers to pad bills to clients, will not be at his scheduled preliminary hearing today in federal court.

Declined comment
Mr. Mosallem's attorney, Paul B. Bergman, and Douglas Tween, attorney for the antitrust division of the Department of Justice, both declined comment.

The move gives the government at least another month to continue its probe of Grey's New York office and graphics suppliers including Color Wheel of 227 E. 45th St., New York.

A continuance is a common practice during investigations. At least one other agency, Cordiant Communications Group's Bates Worldwide, New York, is cooperating with the federal probe.

Evidence
In this instance, if the preliminary hearing scheduled for today had been held, the government would have been obliged to lay out its evidence in public -- something legal experts say would be premature and harmful to the government's case if it intends to broaden the investigation beyond Mr. Mosallem and Color Wheel.

Under the continuance, Mr. Mosallem's next scheduled appearance would now be May 22.

Mark R. Wenger, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Color Wheel, said he isn't sure how a continuance would affect business, but he welcomed the news nonetheless.

'Good for us'
"Any further investigation into this case has to be good for us," Mr. Wenger said. "We, like everyone else, want the truth to come out. I don't believe the truth is going to hurt us."

Grey Worldwide, New York, is part of Grey Global Group.

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