A former treasurer of NBC Universal was charged Thursday by federal prosecutors on two counts of wire fraud after the executive allegedly embezzled more than $800,000 from the media giant to finance a summer home, trips to tropical locales and to pay off a large credit-card debt.
Victor Jung -- who, as treasurer of NBC U, was responsible for collection efforts related to its business and for oversight of the company’s bank accounts -- allegedly set up a phony entity, NBCU Media Productions, in November 2005 through which to funnel money. Jung was also responsible for financial analyses and reporting to NBC U’s parent, General Electric Capital.
According to the indictment, Jung made two wire transfers from GE and NBC U accounts -- one for $575,000 in January 2006 and another for $238,450 in April 2006 -- to two separate bank accounts he had set up for the phony entity.
Jung then used that money for his own personal benefit, according to the indictment, including $56,000 to rent a summer home in tony Southampton, N.Y.; $87,000 to pay off an American Express credit-card bill; and $387,189 to Marquis Jet Partners, a company that leases space on private jets.
Over several months, Jung and other individuals took trips on those private planes to Miami, Antigua and the Turks and Caicos Islands. Those flights were also catered, and Jung and his travel companions dined on “shrimp cocktail, Veuve Clicquot champagne, Grey Goose vodka and Mondavi wine,” according to the indictment.
Jung, 34, was arrested Thursday and was arraigned later that afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Gabriel Gorenstein. He pleaded not guilty and was released on $250,000 bail, according to published reports. The case has been assigned to U.S. District Court Judge Loretta Preska.
Jung had been with NBC U for about 12 years, and he left the media giant within the past six months.
If convicted, Jung faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss resulting from the crime.
In a prepared statement, NBC U said it “is committed to and vigilant about the enforcement of its compliance policies. When we discovered the potential integrity breach, we promptly brought it to the appropriate authorities and are cooperating fully with the investigation. We will continue to monitor the situation to its resolution.”