A lot of young people would have loved Matthew Rudolph’s job as an accountant for NBC’s show 30 Rock. As it turns out, there might be a vacancy. After being accused of padding his corporate expense account to the tune of about $13,600, Rudolph is now awaiting arraignment in Queens Criminal Court in New York.
The 22 criminal charges include third- and fourth-degree grand larceny, first-degree falsifying of business records, and third-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument. If Rudolph is convicted on all charges, he could be looking at seven years in prison.
Rudolph, age 35, was a production accountant for Silvercup Studios in Long Island City, New York. As part of that job, he was issued an NBC Universal card, also called a P-card, which authorized him to make production- related purchases.
Once purchases have been made, employees are given envelopes preprinted with purchase details, such as vendor, date, and amount. The employee must then supply the receipt and the business purpose for each expense in order to be reimbursed. The unit production manager at Silvercup initials the expenses and forwards the envelopes to the comptroller at NBC’s Los Angeles office, who also approves by adding her initials. Prosecutors say that Rudolph bypassed the reimbursement system.
Rudolph is accused of submitting five questionable expense envelopes totaling $4,463.59, on January 20, 2010, according to a report in Timesnewsweekly.com. The official complaint states that when the envelopes were delivered to accounting, they already bore the initials of the unit-production and the comptroller. When questioned, Rudolph allegedly offered the explanation that he had mailed the envelopes to the comptroller for her approval before delivering them to the New York accounting department.
Timesnewsweekly.comalso reported that Rudolph is accused of submitting another four expense envelopes totaling $3,198.96, on March 20, 2010, with both sets of initials already in place. According to the charges, Rudolph stated that he asked the comptroller in person to initial the envelopes when she visited the New York office.
The complaint states that a review of the envelopes showed that the receipts did not match the corresponding expenditures listed by Rudolph. Some of the line items were altered, some were deleted, and many were determined to be personal expenses. The unit production manager and the comptroller said in the complaint that they had not approved the envelopes.
In addition, prosecutors report that Rudolph received checks from NBC, one for $2,500 in October 2009 and another for $3,500 in December 2009. Each check was issued after Rudolph supplied the required signature of the unit production manager. However, prosecutors state that the unit production manager had not approved the checks.
According to a law enforcement officer involved in the complaint, Rudolph is believed to have spent the money on such things as fancy dinners and a Sony Playstation. The District Attorney in charge of the case, Richard Brown, told reporters that Rudolph’s “alleged conduct represents a betrayal of the confidence that his employer had in him.”
Rudolph’s attorney, Richard Roth, told reporters his client “was operating as everyone else at NBC operates. The allegation of embezzlement is nothing short of cuckoo.”