NBC Uni Exec Sentenced

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Former NBC Universal treasury manager James Walsh was sentenced Tuesday to 21 months in prison for his role in scheme to embezzle more than $800,000 from his former employer.

Walsh pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of wire fraud in August. He faced a maximum sentence of 20 years in jail and a $250,000 fine. Walsh was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge P. Kevin Castel in Manhattan. In addition, Walsh received two years of supervised release.

Walsh was employed as NBC Universal’s treasury manager and worked out of the company’s offices at 30 Rockefeller Center. Among Walsh’s responsibilities included reconciling NBC Universal’s bank accounts and performing accounting for NBC Universal’s cash balances. He also had access to a safe at the company’s New York headquarters used for petty cash.

According to the U.S. Attorney, Walsh and his boss, NBCU treasurer Victor Jung (who was charged in January 2007) embezzled money by removing cash from the safe and using that cash for unauthorized purposes. Jung then set up a dummy corporation—NBC Universal Media Productions—and caused three fraudulent wire transfers of NBC Universal or its parent General Electric Co. funds to be sent to bank accounts established in the name of the dummy company. 

Jung, according to the indictment, opened accounts at a branch of the Commerce Bank in Manhattan and caused two wire transfers to be sent—one for $575,000 and the other for $238,450—from an account held by GE in Stamford, Conn., to two different Commerce bank accounts.

Walsh and Jung used the money to pay off large amounts of credit card debt and $40,000 for the rental of a summer home in Southampton, N.Y. The money was also used to pay for a birthday party that Jung threw for Walsh in April 2005.

Jung pleaded guilty in May to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and three counts of wire fraud. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 11 before U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska.

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