Gianakos closes agency

By By Suzanne Monk/The Meridian Star
April 17, 2001
Kim Gianakos, convicted Friday of mail fraud in the "Comcast trial," has decided to close her award-winning marketing agency.
Thompson is the public relations director of Gianakos Associates.
The agency has eight full-time employees and 20 to 30 clients including Amtrak's Southern Crescent office, the East Mississippi Business Development Corporation, State Games of Mississippi and the city of Meridian. The agency has also been handling the reelection campaign of Mayor John Robert Smith.
Gianakos spent much of Monday meeting with her staff.
The closing is expected to be complete by the end of the month.
Gianakos and attorney Frank Trapp plan to appeal her conviction.
Gianakos is one of five people indicted in an alleged conspiracy to defraud Comcast of $2.6 million in a money-laundering scheme between January 1994 and August 1996. Four of those defendants stood trial this month.
The fifth defendant, David Van Colvin, was regional manager of Comcast-Primestar during the period covered by the indictment. He pleaded guilty in 1999, agreeing to testify against his former business associates.
The jury's verdict last Friday indicated they believed a conspiracy existed, but that Colvin and C.D. "Bubba" Newell were its only members.
Newell was convicted of conspiracy to commit wire/mail fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit money-laundering, 12 counts of money-laundering and three counts of tax evasion.
The jury found contractor Darrell Wayne Raley and Kary Graham, former manager of a Comcast-Primestar satellite sales office, "not guilty" on all counts.
Gianakos was acquitted of conspiracy charges involving wire/mail fraud and money-laundering, but convicted of a single count of mail fraud.
Sentencing has been scheduled for June 22 in U.S. District Court in Jackson. Gianakos faces two to five years in a federal penitentiary. Unlike the Circuit Court system, federal sentencing guidelines offer little hope for probation or a suspended sentence.
Gianakos declined to comment.
Suzanne Monk is managing editor of The Meridian Star. E-mail her at smonk@meridianstar.com.

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