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Former Glock CEO's racketeering trial begins this week in Georgia

February 20, 2012|By Richard Fausset
  • A Glock 9mm pistol.
A Glock 9mm pistol. (Associated Press )

The stunning business-page success story of Glock, the Austrian handgun manufacturer, has also had its share of stunning tabloid intrigue and skullduggery. This week, another chapter full of sordid details is expected to unfurl in a suburban Georgia courtroom, where the former chief executive of the company is scheduled to go on trial on theft and racketeering charges.

The executive, Paul Jannuzzo, 55, was indicted in 2009, and faces up to 30 years in prison, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Jannuzzo fled the U.S. before his original trial date, but was rearrested and shipped back to Georgia for trial. He has pleaded not guilty.

Jannuzzo is accused of siphoning company funds to a Cayman Islands account and hatching other schemes in collaboration with Peter Manown, a former Glock executive who has pleaded guilty to theft and is expected to testify at the trial, the Journal-Constitution’s Andria Simmons reports.

Three men hired by Glock to investigate another employee suspected of stealing have also been indicted on racketeering, extortion and other charges.

The man they were investigating, Charles Marie Joseph Ewert, was convicted in 2003 of trying to have company founder Gaston Glock murdered by a hammer-wielding hit man, according to Business Week.

Jannuzzo has accused Glock of using a dizzyingly complex corporate structure to avoid his tax obligations under federal law.

Glock, an Austrian shovel and knife maker, rose from obscurity beginning in the 1980s, touting his lightweight handguns to American police departments. They were a tremendous hit not only with police and weapons aficionados, but with gangsters, rappers, poseurs and Hollywood simulacra of all of the above.

The trial is set to start Tuesday in Cobb County, outside Atlanta. Glock's North American headquarters is in Smyrna, Ga.

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