The Godmother

A $30 million irregularity

The scandal had all the ingredients of a prime-time television soap opera.

Millions of dollars were suddenly discovered missing at a major corporation. The main characters: an ambitious, up-from-the-secretarial-pool woman executive known as the Godmother and a hard-driving chief executive whose profit goals were unexpectedly shattered by a series of mysterious losses.

That was no mere melodrama. Last week Don Johnston, chairman of the JWT Group Inc., the parent company of J. Walter Thompson Co., the world's second largest advertising agency after Young & Rubicam, admitted that more than $30 million in phony revenues had turned up in the...

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