A former QVC marketing director has been accused of swindling the company out of $1 million to fund his superfluous lifestyle, as reported by CBS Philadelphia.
James Falkowski, 42, was tasked with improving the company’s influence in the entertainment and fashion industries. Instead, the United States Attorney Louis Lappen said he used kickback arrangements to defraud the home shopping channel for more than $1,000,000 in money and luxury goods and services, according to KYW-TV.
It has been reported that Falkowski worked at the West Chester, Pennsylvania, location from 2008 until his firing in December 2013. The 42-year-old carried out the alleged fraud through two QVC vendors who paid for his personal expenses and then billed the company.
On one occasion, Falkowski allegedly billed QVC for $28,000 for two custom tables for his Old City apartment.
The Philadelphia Inquirer noted that the QVC executive was earning $238,800 a year at the time of his firing. However, his lush salary didn’t stop him from sending multiple bills for luxury hotel stays to his employer, according to a criminal indictment.
The US Attorney’s office said the 42-year-old had SPEC Entertainment, a New York-based production company, alter the invoices submitted to QVC to conceal his true expenses.
Additionally, Falkowski is accused of making The Steinberg Group, a public relations firm, a vendor. He allegedly brokered a 50 percent royalty deal with them behind his employer’s back. He also received a 33 percent kickback through a similar agreement with SPEC Entertainment, the US Attorney’s office has alleged.
The two companies said to be involved in the ex-director’s alleged schemes are not facing charges.
“At QVC, we take allegations of unethical or unlawful business conduct on the part of our employees and our business partners very seriously. In addition to conducting a thorough investigation into this matter, we have been cooperating fully with authorities,” QVC said in a statement.
Falkowski, who now resides in Buffalo, New York, is charged with 11 counts of wire and mail fraud and one count of conspiracy. He faces 11 years behind bars if convicted.
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