Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Alvin firm suspected in $8 million scam
Condé Nast has enlisted the feds to get back almost $8 million it lost to a scam involving a company with a similar name as one of its printers.
The magazine publisher received a single e-mail in early November that "appeared to have been sent by Quad/Graphics," the Wisconsin-based print shop that cranks out copies of Vogue, Glamour and GQ, according to court papers.
The e-mail allegedly asked that payment for the firm's services be sent to an account in the name of Quad Graph at a bank branch in Alvin, Texas.
Between Nov. 17 and Dec. 30, Condé wired a series of big-bucks payments to the Quad Graph account before learning that its printer hadn't received any of the money, and also "had not changed its banking information."
Condé reversed its final payment of more than $36,500, but was still out nearly $7.97 million, according to a civil suit filed by Manhattan federal prosecutors.
The suit says the Quad Graph account was opened Sept. 30 by Alvin resident Andy Ray Surface, 57. Condé Nast's missing cash -- minus about $52,000 -- was found in the Quad Graph account and another account in Surface's name, and was seized by the Secret Service, the suit says.
No criminal charges have been filed against Surface, a spokeswoman for the Manhattan US Attorney said.
Condé didn't return calls for comment.
Said one former Condé executive, "This is just another in a long line of lax accounting procedures that typifies the company.
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Posted by Steve Douglass at 12:53 PM