A former production accountant for the NBC TV series “30 Rock” has been charged with embezzling more than $13,600 from the show.
Matthew Rudolph, 35, has been accused of falsifying approvals for two NBC expense checks, totaling $6,000, and with falsifying approvals for an additional $7,662.55 in credit card purchases, many of which were personal rather than business-related.
“The defendant is accused of using his position to unjustly enrich himself by charging thousands of dollars worth of personal expenses to his NBC-issued credit card and then filing false expense reports containing the forged initials of higher-ups,” said Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown in a statement. “His alleged conduct represents a betrayal of the confidence that his employer had in him.”
Rudolph is presently awaiting arraignment in Queens Criminal Court on a 22-count criminal complaint charging him with third- and fourth-degree grand larceny, first-degree falsifying business records and third-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument. If convicted, he faces up to seven years in prison.
According to the criminal charges, Rudolph was employed as a production accountant for season four of the television show “30 Rock” and worked at Silvercup Studios, which is located in the Long Island City section of Queens. As part of his employment, Rudolph was given an NBC Universal credit card, commonly known as a P-Card, which he was authorized to use for production-related expenses but not for personal expenses.
In order to be reimbursed for expenses, employees are given expense envelopes by the accounting department which list the dates on which expenditures were made and the vendor to whom they were made. Employees are then required to list the purpose of each expenditure and provide receipts documenting the expenses. Expenses submitted to NBC Universal for reimbursement must be approved by both the unit production manager at Silvercup Studios and by NBC Universal’s comptroller in Los Angeles, who indicate their approval by initialing the expense envelopes given to them by the accounting department.
The criminal complaint alleges that on Jan. 20, 2010, Rudolph submitted five expense envelopes, with expenditures totaling $4,463.59, and which already bore the initials of both the unit production manager and the comptroller. Rudolph, it is alleged, claimed that he had mailed the envelopes to the comptroller in Los Angeles himself and received them back before submitting them to the accounting department. It is further alleged that on March 10, 2010, Rudolph submitted four expense envelopes, with expenditures totaling $3,198.96, and which again bore both the initials of the unit production manager and the comptroller. This time, it is alleged, Rudolph stated that he had given the four envelopes to the comptroller personally to sign during a trip she had made to New York.
In reviewing both sets of envelopes, it is alleged many of the receipts submitted by Rudolph did not match the expenditures listed on the envelopes or the explanations given for the expenditures. Several receipts appeared to have been modified or whited out, and many of the expenditures were found to be personal in nature rather than production-related. In addition, neither the unit production manager nor the comptroller signed the envelopes approving the expenditures listed.
Rudolph received an NBC check dated Oct. 19, 2009, for $2,500 and another NBC check dated Dec. 16, 2009, in the amount of $3,500, according to prosecutors. Both checks were made payable to “Matthew Rudolph-PCard Acct” and were allegedly negotiated by the defendant on the dates of their issuance. The checks required the approval of the unit production manager in order to be issued. Each check bore a signature seemingly approving their issuance, but had not in fact been signed by the unit production manager, according to prosecutors.
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