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A former chief digital officer for Epix was arrested for allegedly conducting an elaborate scheme involving fake companies and fraudulent invoices to steal $8 million from the cable network.
The FBI said Emil Rensing, who worked for the premium network owned by Lionsgate, Viacom and MGM for about five years before leaving in August, was arrested Tuesday in New York on charges of wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.
If guilty, Rensing, 42, faces up to 20 years in prison.
The FBI accuses Rensing of arranging for Epix to hire vendor companies to handle some digital services, though he owned and controlled the contracted companies, which did little or no work for Epix.
In order to conceal his scam, he used false and stolen identities, including, unbeknownst to them, names of some of his acquaintances, according to the FBI.
“Emil Rensing abused the trust of his employer, hiding behind false and stolen identities, and submitting fraudulent invoices for millions of dollars of service never performed,” said Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.
“Greed clouds people’s judgment, so much so that in this case Rensing allegedly used his friends’ names in a scheme to steal money from his employers,” added FBI assistant director-in-charge Diego Rodriguez. “This isn’t a case of an employee keeping the change after getting coffee for the office. Rensing is accused of stealing $8 million from the company that hired him.”
After Epix learned of Rensing’s scheme, network attorneys interviewed him, and Rensing insisted the meeting be recorded. He lied during the interview, the FBI said.
Epix did not respond to requests for comment.
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