Today’s Lesson For Agency CEOs: Don’t Defraud The Government

Didn’t anyone learn from the Ogilvy scandal? If you’re going to inflate timesheets, pad the bills, or just generally defraud a client, don’t make it a government client.
From KHQA in Illinois:

The owner of a Springfield advertising agency accused of stealing $500,000 in federal funds that was to pay for anti-drunken-driving billboards has pleaded innocent to fraud charges.
Robert Sullinger is the owner of Great Plains Group LLC. The 59-year-old Sullinger was paid more than $1.5 million in federal grant funds to produce and post billboards and posters throughout Illinois.
Sullinger is accused of submitting fraudulent invoices for the billboards from 1999 through 2004. He is also accused of understating his profit margins and then trying to cover up the scheme.
Sullinger faces up to 20 years in prison on each of the mail fraud counts and up to five years in prison on each of the others.
He also could face tens of thousands of dollars in fines.
A trial date is set for May 6.

Seriously. Leave it to the pros. Like Halliburton.



About Dan Goldgeier

Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. Dan is also a columnist for and the author of View From The Cheap Seats and Killer Executions and Scrubbed Decks.