West Chester PA Feb 4 2017 A former manager for television shopping channel QVC was sent to prison Tuesday and ordered to pay back the $1.8 million he bilked from the company.
Douglas Rae issued bogus invoices to scam the West Chester, Pa., company out of $1.8 million from 2006 through 2013, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Denise Wolf.
U.S. District Court Judge Gene E.K. Pratter sentenced the 60-year-old Lower Saucon Township man to six-and-a-half years in federal prison.
"The defendant demonstrated a willingness to abandon all notions of truth and honest dealings in pursuit of greed," Wolf said in a sentencing memorandum.
Wolf was the studio lighting manager for the 24-hour television shopping channel that sells a variety of jewelry and household goods. He sent the fake invoices through two companies he owned: Lighting Equipment Sales and Lighting Production Management.
Wolf said QVC paid invoices to Rae's companies by mailing him checks. He used the money for personal expenses, including $83,000: for restaurant bills; for jewelry, furniture, house renovations, yachting club and golf club memberships; for airfare and a limo driver; and for payments for vacation homes in Hilton Head, South Carolina, and the Poconos.
When he knew he was under investigation, Rae gave properties to his estranged wife and daughters so he would not be forced to sell them to pay restitution, according to Wolf.
"A substantial period of incarceration for this defendant will not only deter him from further crimes but it will send the appropriate message to the public as well as other like-minded employees that the court takes this fraud very seriously," Wolf wrote.
Defense attorney John Waldron argued the stimga of a federal guilty plea and huge restitution order didn't need to be compounded by a stiff prison sentence.
"Douglas S. Rae has suffered the shame and humiliation of being indicted in this matter and having pled guilty to felony offenses," Waldron wrote in his memorandum. "The negative stigma of being convicted of felony theft offenses will follow Mr. Rae for the rest of his adult life."
Rae dabbled in drug use when he worked as a lighting manager touring with Stevie Nicks, Loverboy, Debbie Gibson, Bryan Adams, Robert Hazard and the Hooters but hasn't used drugs since 1991, according to Waldron's memorandum.
Rae graduated from Easton Area High School in 1973. He lives in the 3600 block of Fire Lane in Lower Saucon Township.
Rae's two co-defendants in the case, John R. Hodde, of Aubrey, Texas, and Michael H. Keppler, 56, of Ridgewood, New Jersey, were sentenced to probation.
Hodde was sentenced to 30 months of probation and ordered to pay back $686,273. Keppler was sentenced to 15 months of probation and ordered to pay back $174,219.