MCA Official Accused of Crime Ties is Relieved of Duties
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ MCA Inc. has suspended an executive accused of funneling money from the entertainment conglomerate to a reputed mob figure.
The company Thursday announced the suspension of Eugene Giaquinto, president of MCA’s home entertainment division and a corporate vice president.
FBI documents, filed in support of wiretaps on Giaquinto’s telephone, allege that he funneled ″a large amount of money on a yearly basis″ to Edward Sciandra, reputed underboss of Pennsylvania’s Bufalino crime family.
Robert Hadl, MCA vice president and general counsel, said MCA, which sells records and videotapes and makes movies under the Universal Studios name, isn’t a target of the probe, which was reported by the Los Angeles Times on Thursday.
The company has ″no information that any money was passed by anybody to Mr. Sciandra, or to anybody else,″ but will investigate further and cooperate with the government, said MCA legal representative Ronald Olson.
The money allegedly passed through North Star Graphics, a Clifton, N.J., company that has a $12 million to $15 million a year contract to package MCA’s videocassettes, including the top-selling ″E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.″
Hadl said MCA had terminated its agreement with North Star, but refused to say why or when.
Sciandra and North Star were implicated in 1981 in a $68,000 false invoicing scheme that apparently defrauded MCA. Sciandra and two others were later convicted of tax evasion.
Giaquinto’s attorney, Richard P. Crane Jr., was not in his office this morning, his secretary said.
MCA’s home video division had two tapes among this year’s top 10 best- sellers, ″American Tail″ and the ″Callanetics″ exercise video.