News Article - January 23, 2007

Advertising consultant charged in Phila. airport scheme  
  A Bryn Mawr, Pa., advertising consultant was charged Tuesday with defrauding both the city of Philadelphia and an advertising agency that did business with the city's airport, according to an indictment filed in federal court. Joseph Moderski, 69, allegedly diverted $180,000 in advertising fees from the JCDecaux SA agency. Half of the fees were to have been passed on to Philadelphia, according to an indictment filed by Pat Meehan, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

   Moderski, who was also charged with evading more than $600,000 in income taxes, operated J.C. Moderski Inc., which secured and maintained display advertising in Philadelphia and New Jersey, and sold his services to companies and individuals interested in doing business with the Philadelphia International Airport, Meehan's office said. He was also a consultant for JCDecaux SA who assisted the French company in getting new advertising business and maintaining business at the airport. JCDecaux was required to pay the city half of its gross advertising revenue from the airport, or a guaranteed fee of $400,000, according to documents.

   If convicted, Moderski faces up to 91 years in prison and a fine of $5.75 million, as well as payment of back taxes and other penalties. His attorney, Will Spade, could not be reached for comment. Last year, Moderski was among four men charged in an illegal political contributions scheme. According to prosecutors, they funneled money from a subsidiary of JCDecaux to Mayor John F. Street's campaign through individuals. Pennsylvania law prohibits companies from making political contributions.

   Moderski has pleaded guilty in the contributions case and is scheduled for a March 15 sentencing, said Richard Manieri, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Source - Phila. Business Journal