PR Exec Pleads Not Guilty; Trial Date Set

BOSTON John Stodder, the former senior vp at Omnicom Group’s Fleishman-Hillard who last month was indicted on 11 counts of wire fraud, has pleaded not guilty, according to a representative at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.

Stodder is free on bail. His trial is set to begin Aug. 2.

The charges stem from an alleged scheme to overbill the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power for public relations services. Each charge carries a maximum 20-year prison term [Adweek Online, Jan. 14].

Stodder, 49, was fired by FH as the year began.

FH has been accused of overbilling the DWP $4.2 million from 1999 to 2004.

Stodder’s indictment alleges that he was responsible for almost $250,000 in fraudulent bills submitted to the DWP.

Thus far, no other charges have been brought in connection with the case.