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A former HBO talent relations manager has pleaded guilty to defrauding the company of nearly $1 million.
Jennifer Choi, who worked as a manager in the talent relations department until she was fired in Sept. 2014, agreed to plead guilty to two counts of wire fraud and one count of tax evasion according to court documents filed today.
Choi worked for HBO for a decade and was responsible for scheduling hairstyling, makeup and wardrobe services for talent working on the cable company’s shows. Choi’s scheme involved submitting fake invoices for those services from Shine Glossy, a company she had set up. The court documents state that Shine Glossy had submitted nearly 300 invoices, yet none of those services were ever provided.
HBO paid out $940,000 for those services which went to a bank account linked to Choi.
As part of her plea agreement, Choi also admitted to billing HBO for unauthorized car services for herself, family and friends that cumulatively cost the company $63,000.
“Ms. Choi has admitted to bilking her employer out of nearly a million dollars through a fraud scheme that used a fake company that provided no services,” said U.S. Attorney Eileen Decker reported Lawfuel. “This long-term scheme violated both her duty to her employer as well as federal law, and Ms. Choi now faces serious consequences beyond losing her job.”
The three counts Choi pleaded guilty to carry a maximum penalty of 45 years in prison but it is expected she will receive a significantly less severe sentence. She is expected in court on Feb. 19.
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