Former Grey Vice President Pleads Guilty in Color Wheel Case

NEW YORK — A former Grey Advertising vice president for graphic services pleaded guilty today in federal court in charges related to a Department of Justice investigation into billing practices in the printing industry.

Joe Panaccione, who went by the professional name of “Joe Payne,” was a former vice president in Grey’s graphic services department. He pleaded guilty to two counts of overbilling Grey clients for print services executed by The Color Wheel, a Manhattan based graphics supplier.

Panaccione worked with Mitch Mosallem, the former director of print services for Grey and who has been charged with overbilling and conspiracy to defraud the IRS along with The Color Wheel. Mosallem has pleaded not guilty in the case.

Separate from Mosallem’s charges, Panaccione pleaded guilty to accepting kickbacks to an independent printing vendor, John Chessa, who has not been charged.

Panaccione is the fourth individual to plead guilty within the last week to charges related to the government’s print scandals investigation.

Last week, Gabriel Casas, a former salesman for the Color Wheel pleaded guilty to mail fraud and anti-trust conspiracy. Also, two printing executives, Howard Marlin, the owner and CEO of Caysun graphics, and Bertram Cohen, CEO of Darbert Offset, pleaded guilty in federal court to similar charges.