The ongoing investigation of the advertising practices at Advanced Marketing Services resulted in a second indictment last week. Sandra Miller Christie, former v-p of advertising, was charged with one count of conspiracy, 19 counts of wire fraud and 13 counts of falsifying the books by the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of California. The Securities and Exchange Commission filed its own charges against Christie, accusing her of helping to manipulate AMS's earnings.
The charges against Christie are similar to ones filed against former AMS advertising director for creative services Marcy Roke last fall (News, Oct. 4, 2004). Those charges allege that both Roke and Christie manipulated earnings between 9% and 19% over the last several years in advertising vehicles and through improper co-op credits. The scheme resulted in publisher losses of approximately $6.8 million.
Christie served in her position from 1997 up until 2004, when both criminal and civil investigations of AMS were underway. Roke had previously pled guilty to criminal charges in the case but has not yet entered a plea on the civil charges.
A third alleged co-conspirator, an AMS director of advertising for accounts, has not been charged, but SEC trial counsel Molly White said in an interview that "the case is ongoing."