This was a busy weekend for Lionsgate. The Santa Monica-based company enjoyed the rare position of opening a blockbuster film in The Hunger Games and the hit return of its flagship series Mad Men. But also, agents from the FBI and IRS arrested two men and charged them with defrauding the company of more than $2 million in a kickback scheme. According to the allegations, Roccio James Cuccia, a senior buyer for Lionsgate, hired vendor Larry Collins to provide cardboard displays for the company’s Blu-ray and DVD displays in retail outlets. According to the indictment, Cuccia inflated the size of the orders, and Collins then issued fake purchase orders, and when Lionsgate paid the extra amount, he shared that with Cuccia. “Cuccia and Collins caused losses totaling approximately $2,064,000,” the indictment alleges. Cuccia and Collins are charged with 14 counts overall for wire fraud, tax evasion and money laundering.
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