QVC former director James D. Falkowski was sentenced to 30 months in a federal prison for being the brains behind a $1 million fraud scam.
According to CNBC, Falkowski — who was in charge of enhancing the company brand and reputation in the entertainment and fashion markets — was accused of using his role to embezzle and fraudulently obtain from QVC more than $1 million in cash, goods and other services, including first-class travel, hotel and resort stays, spa treatments, meals in high-end eateries, and expensive clothes and accessories. He even used his ill-gotten gains for Botox treatments, noted CNBC. To protect himself, he created faulty invoices to trick QVC into paying for his fraud.
He also worked with two QVC vendors to aid in ripping off the company. CNBC said The Steinberg Group, which operates under the name dOMAIN, and a production management company in New York City agreed to submit altered invoices and bills to hide the scam.
Prosecutors contend Falkowski got QVC to pay more than $200,000 in chauffeured rides for himself and others, $70,000 in payments to pay down his own personal debt and $59,500 in American Express gift cards. The fraud happened from 2008 until he was fired in 2013, noted the report.
The sentencing comes about a year after QVC snapped up rival HSN for $2,6 billion. Qurate Retail Group, formerly known as Liberty Interactive (QVC’s parent company), already owned over 38 percent of a stake in HSN’s owner, HSNi. That buy has QVC remaining at almost 62 percent.
QVC President and CEO Mike George said when the deal was announced,“By creating the leader in discovery-based shopping, we will enhance the customer experience, accelerate innovation, leverage our resources and talents to further strengthen our brands, and redeploy savings for innovation and growth. As the prominent global video-commerce retailer, and North America’s third-largest mobile and eCommerce retailer, the combined company will be well-positioned to help shape the next generation of retailing.”