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Former Anchor Bay President Charged

10 Oct, 2003 By: Holly J. Wagner

The former president of Anchor Bay Entertainment is facing charges that he conspired to commit money laundering in a scheme in which prosecutors say he received more than $3.5 million in kickbacks from vendors seeking contracts from his company.

Dan F. Whitt, of Little Rock, Ark., is charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering in connection with a scam he allegedly used to defraud his employer, Anchor Bay of Troy, Michigan. The charge was filed in U.S. District Court in Detroit.

Whitt allegedly sold his support in contract negotiations and the successful execution of any contract awarded, according to the charge. He allegedly solicited the kickbacks without the knowledge of, or authorization from, Anchor Bay.

Prosecutors traced suspicious activities back as far as early as May 2000 and continuing through on or about Nov. 12, 2001, Whitt and others allegedly conspired to conduct financial transactions involving the anticipated proceeds of the kickback scheme by having money paid to separate corporations; using phony consulting contracts; purposely misidentifying the president of corporations purportedly doing consulting work; establishing multiple financial accounts to receive and distribute the funds; and establishing phony financial relationships between Whitt and other conspirators.

“This type of scheme deprives companies of their right to the honest services of their employees and to fair and competitive prices,” said James M. Griffin, deputy assistant attorney general in charge of the Antitrust Division's Criminal Enforcement Program.

The conspiracy to commit money laundering charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in jail, three years of supervised release and a $500,000 fine. The maximum fine may be increased to twice the gain derived from the crime or twice the loss suffered by the victim of the crime, if either of those amounts is greater than the statutory maximum fine.

The charge, filed Sept. 29, resulted from an ongoing federal antitrust investigation of anticompetitive conduct in the video duplicating and replicating industries. The investigation is being conducted by the Antitrust Division's Cleveland field office with the assistance of the Detroit office of the FBI and the Detroit office of the IRS, Criminal Investigation Division.

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