Emil Rensing, the former chief digital officer for cable network Epix, was sentenced on Friday to a more than four years in prison after being found guilty of fraud.
Rensing was charged in April 2016 with stealing more than $7 million from Epix over a five-year period, along with wire fraud and identity theft. Rensing pleaded guilty last year.
“We are disheartened that the sentencing judge did not evaluate the full measure of the man in his sentence today, and only considered Mr. Rensing’s misconduct in this case,” Rensing’s lawyer Henry Mazurek said in a statement. “A better measure of the true value of Emil Rensing was demonstrated by a courtroom overflowing with supporters and by the submission of nearly 60 letters written to the judge on his behalf. Emil is a good and decent man who is intent on rebuilding his life from here. With the support of friends and past business colleagues, I am certain that he will reset his career and have many successes to come.”
During his employment with Epix from 2009 to 2015, Rensing entered the network into contracts with vendor companies he owned to perform digital media services for the company. The services promised by Rensing in those contracts 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 did the work for Epix. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, the individuals named by Rensing as vendor personnel were unaware that their names were being used in the contracts.
Rensing then concealed his fraudulent scheme by, among other things — according to court docs — using false and stolen identities to hide his own involvement in the scheme.
“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,” U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said in a statement. “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.”
In addition to the prison sentence, Rensing was ordered to forfeit $7,774,469.52 and to pay $7,774,469.52 in restitution to Epix plus the expenses the network incurred during its participation in the government’s investigation and criminal prosecution.