Ad Firm Closes After Audit; CFO Kills Himself
To add to the woes, the audit also uncovered the fact that the CFO, Philip Schieber, had embezzled the money before killing himself last month. The suicide coincided with the time that firm execs discovered the loss of funds.
Berry-Brown enjoyed a solid reputation as a leader in the advertising field, servicing such household-name accounts as Aunt Jemima Syrup, Wolf Brand Products, Daisy Brand Sour Cream, and some Jimmy Dean and Quaker Oats brands. Billings in 1999 were $58 million.
The funds were going to be used to pay for advertising that already ran or was scheduled. The firm chose to close rather than attempt bankruptcy proceedings, claiming it would be too difficult to retain clients and obtain financing after the news of the losses.