The Press: Circulation Cheater

In 1929 red-haired Catherine McNelis, then an advertising agent in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., persuaded F. W. Woolworth Co. to market a group of 10¢ magazines specially edited for the dime-store trade. Miss McNelis organized Tower Magazines, Inc., soon had seven magazines with a total circulation of some 900,000 copies.

Then something went wrong. In 1935 Publisher McNelis declared her corporation bankrupt, admitted liabilities of $400,000. She blamed high printing costs. But a Federal Grand Jury accused her of falsifying circulation figures, withholding some $1,000,000 in rebates due advertisers. With three of her associates, Catherine McNelis was indicted for using the mails to defraud.


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