She Worked Her Way Up the Men's Wearhouse Ladder. Now, Jail

Gina Lonestar created phony invoices from a fake vendor to the tune of $1.7M, prosecutors say
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 21, 2023 8:14 AM CDT
Ex-Men's Wearhouse Exec Going to Jail for $1.7M Embezzlement
A man walks past a closed Men's Wearhouse in Washington on Aug. 3, 2020.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

A former Men's Wearhouse executive is going to prison for nearly two years after pleading guilty to embezzling $1.7 million from the clothing giant and its parent, Tailored Brands. CBS News reports that 52-year-old Gina Suzanne Lonestar was sentenced to 22 months behind bars on a wire fraud charge after prosecutors for the US Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California laid out her scheme. The plot involved Lonestar creating a fake vendor for Men's Wearhouse, then submitting and greenlighting phony invoices from said vendor—tasks she was authorized to do during her time with the company, prosecutors say.

Lonestar is said to have made up a document showing the vendor was a sole proprietorship tied to a relative. Prosecutors say the funds she received from these fake invoices was then deposited into her joint checking account, per the Mercury News. Lonestar's scheme first took off in late 2010, when she was a facilities department director for the company, and continued for more than eight years, during which time she was promoted first to senior director of facilities and corporate services, then to VP of construction, maintenance, and facilities. After an internal audit in 2019, however, everything started to unravel.

Lonestar was indicted by a federal grand jury last September, charged with six counts of wire fraud; that was knocked down to one charge as part of her agreement to plead guilty. Per a Department of Justice release, the FBI assisted in the investigation that led to her being charged. Lonestar will begin serving her time in early January. United States District Judge Jon S. Tigar also ordered Lonestar to pay more than $1.7 million and serve three years of supervised release after she gets out of prison. A court hearing for her case is next scheduled for Dec. 1 regarding restitution issues. (More embezzlement stories.)

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