Two Sentenced For Roles In Scandal

Two executives indicted in the corruption probe that started at Grey Global Group and print supplier Color Wheel were sentenced last Tuesday in Manhattan’s Southern District U.S. Court.

Birj Deckmejian, a former independent salesman for Color Wheel who faced a prison term of up to 30 months, was given three years’ probation. He will also have to pay a yet-to-be-determined fine. Health factors helped him avoid jail time.

Lori Montgomery, a minority owner of Quality House of Graphics, received two years’ probation and a $100 fine for helping to rig bids for Grey’s print-ad business.

Deckmejian, 69, monitored the more than $200,000 spent on gifts to Grey staffers. Freebies included computers, print jobs for weddings and other events, and golf vacations. Grey’s staff received another $66,000 in tickets, including passes to Broadway shows and World Series games.

Color Wheel billed back all the costs—inflating the tickets’ sum to about $150,000—and Grey’s clients footed the bill. Deckmejian, convicted at a jury trial last year, also tracked another $150,000 in inflated bills paid by Grey and its clients.

Court papers and testimony indicate that Color Wheel billed Grey $26.6 million from 1995-2000. Justice Department attorney Rebecca Meiklejohn said Grey has started to reimburse clients Brown & Williamson and Procter & Gamble.

Grey’s head of print production, Mitchell Mosallem, is serving 70 months in federal prison. Color Wheel’s owner, Haluk Ergulec, is serving a 37-month term.