Thursday, January 16, 2003

Former Multi-Color executive is indicted

INDIANAPOLIS - John Littlehale, a former vice president of Cincinnati's Multi-Color Corp., was indicted on charges of conspiring to violate the Clean Air Act and making a false statement, the U.S. Justice Department said Wednesday.

While working for the printed-label manufacturer, Mr. Littlehale ordered the construction and operation of a new press in Scottsburg, Ind., without an air pollution control device, although he knew it was required, the Justice Department said. He then conspired and lied to federal and state officials to conceal that the company was improperly operating the press.

"The purpose of the conspiracy was to increase Multi-Color's profits and to enable the company to delay or completely avoid the expense of installing and maintaining an air pollution control device," prosecutors said in a statement.

Multi-Color was not charged, the prosecutors said. The company disclosed the alleged violations to Indiana officials after learning of the problems during a management change. In November 1998, the company reached a settlement with regulators.

Multi-Color didn't immediately return a call seeking comment. A home phone listed in the name of John Littlehale in Terrace Park was disconnected.

If convicted, Mr. Littlehale, 48, would face as much as seven years in prison and a $500,000 fine, the prosecutors said.

Multi-Color makes labels for products such as liquid detergents, fabric softeners, anti-freeze and chewing gum.

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