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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, June 1, 2018

Chief Digital Officer Of Cable Network Sentenced To 51 Months In Prison For Defrauding His Former Employer Of More Than $7 Million

Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that EMIL RENSING was sentenced today to 51 months in prison for his scheme to defraud his former employer, a premium cable network (the “Network”), of more than $7 million through false statements about purported services to be provided to the Network by companies RENSING owned and controlled, which services were, in large part, never performed.  RENSING was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero, who previously accepted RENSING’s guilty plea.

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “Emil Rensing defrauded his employer out of more than $7 million by causing the network to pay Rensing-controlled companies for services that were never rendered.  Rensing used false and stolen identities and dummy email accounts to conceal his role in the payments, and then lied to company lawyers who questioned him about the evident fraud.  Today he has been sentenced to prison for his crime.”

According to the allegations in the Indictment to which RENSING pled guilty, a criminal complaint filed against RENSING, statements made during the plea, and other court proceedings:

EMIL RENSING, who served as the chief digital officer of the Network, defrauded the Network of more than $7 million over the course of his five-year employment with the Network.  Specifically, through his position as chief digital officer of the Network, RENSING caused the Network to contract with vendor companies owned and controlled by RENSING to perform digital media services for the Network and to perform those services through vendor personnel identified in the contracts.  In truth and in fact, the services promised by RENSING were, in large part, never performed, and the vendor personnel designated in the contracts to perform the services – which included several of RENSING’s former professional associates and business partners – never performed services for the Network.  Indeed, the individuals identified by RENSING as vendor personnel were unaware that their names were being used by RENSING in this manner. 

RENSING concealed his fraudulent scheme by, among other things, using false and stolen identities to hide his own involvement in the scheme.  As to one of the vendors RENSING used to perpetrate the scheme (“Vendor-1”), RENSING provided the Network with a false name and email address as the “contact” to be used by the Network to communicate with Vendor-1.  As to a second vendor (“Vendor-2”), RENSING provided the Network with the name of a personal acquaintance as a “project manager” and “contact” for Vendor-2 when, in truth and in fact, this acquaintance had nothing to do with Vendor-2.  Unbeknownst to this personal acquaintance, RENSING also established an email account in that acquaintance’s name, which RENSING, posing as the acquaintance, regularly used to communicate with the Network about the vendor’s billing and other administrative matters.  

After the Network learned of RENSING’s fraudulent scheme, RENSING was interviewed by attorneys for the Network.  During this interview, which was recorded at the request of RENSING and his counsel, RENSING made multiple false statements to further conceal his fraudulent scheme.

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In addition to the prison term, RENSING, 44, of Manhattan, was sentenced by Judge Marrero to three years of supervised release, and was ordered to forfeit $7,774,469.52 and to pay $7,774,469.52 in restitution to the Network plus the expenses the Network incurred during its participation in the Government’s investigation and criminal prosecution.

Mr. Berman praised the outstanding investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. 

The prosecution of this case is being overseen by the Office’s Complex Frauds and Cybercrime Unit.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Elisha J. Kobre is in charge of the prosecution.           

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Press Release Number: 
18-184
Updated June 1, 2018