Gina Suzanne Lonestar, a former Vice President of Construction, Maintenance, and Facilities at Tailored Brands, has been sentenced to 22 months in federal prison for embezzling $1.7 million from her former employer. Lonestar devised a scheme in 2010 to create a fake vendor and submitted false invoices for the vendor’s services. Over an eight-year period, she defrauded Men’s Wearhouse and Tailored Brands by approving payments for the fake vendor’s invoices. Lonestar’s scheme came to an end in 2019 when it was discovered during an internal audit. In addition to her prison sentence, she has been ordered to pay a forfeiture money judgment of $1,736,216 and serve three years of supervised release.
This comprehensive article provides an overview of the embezzlement case involving Gina Suzanne Lonestar, who was recently sentenced for wire fraud and embezzling $1.7 million from her former employer. It explores the legal proceedings, the details of the embezzlement scheme, Lonestar’s role, the investigation and indictment, the sentencing details, restitution, the prosecution team, and the investigating agency.
Brief overview of the embezzlement case
The embezzlement case involves Gina Suzanne Lonestar, who was recently sentenced for wire fraud and embezzling $1.7 million from her former employer, Men’s Wearhouse. Lonestar devised a scheme to create a fake vendor and submitted false invoices over an eight-year period.
Introduction of Gina Suzanne Lonestar
Gina Suzanne Lonestar, a 52-year-old resident of Danville, California, was the former Vice President of Construction, Maintenance, and Facilities at Tailored Brands, the parent company of Men’s Wearhouse. She played a key role in the embezzlement scheme and was recently sentenced to 22 months in federal prison.
Summary of the wire fraud scheme
Lonestar created a fake vendor and submitted false invoices to the accounts payable department of Men’s Wearhouse. She claimed that the vendor was performing work at Men’s Wearhouse stores throughout California, when in reality, the vendor did not exist, and the family member associated with the vendor did not perform any work. Lonestar’s scheme lasted for approximately eight years, during which she embezzled over $1.7 million.
Date of the sentencing
Gina Suzanne Lonestar was sentenced on [insert date of sentencing] for her involvement in the wire fraud scheme.
Lonestar was sentenced to 22 months in federal prison by the Hon. Jon S. Tigar, United States District Judge, for wire fraud and embezzlement. In addition to the prison sentence, Lonestar was ordered to pay a $1,736,216 forfeiture money judgment and serve three years of supervised release. The supervised release will commence after her prison term.
Gina Suzanne Lonestar’s guilty plea
Lonestar pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud on May 19, 2023. As part of her plea agreement, the remaining counts were dismissed during her sentencing hearing.
Dismissal of remaining counts
During her sentencing hearing, the court dismissed the remaining counts against Lonestar, focusing on the one count of wire fraud to which she pleaded guilty.
Order for restitution
A hearing has been scheduled for December 1, 2023, to determine the issues regarding restitution in this case. Restitution is an important aspect of addressing the financial harm caused by Lonestar’s embezzlement.
The Embezzlement Scheme
Creation of a fake vendor
Gina Suzanne Lonestar devised a scheme to create a fake vendor associated with a family member. She fabricated a document stating that the vendor was a sole proprietorship and performed work at Men’s Wearhouse stores throughout California.
Submission and approval of false invoices
Using the fake vendor, Lonestar submitted and approved false invoices for work that was never performed. These invoices were submitted to the accounts payable department of Men’s Wearhouse.
Duration of the scheme
The embezzlement scheme orchestrated by Lonestar lasted for approximately eight years. During this time, false invoices were regularly submitted and approved, allowing Lonestar to embezzle over $1.7 million.
Gina Suzanne Lonestar embezzled over $1.7 million from Men’s Wearhouse through her wire fraud scheme. This significant amount of money was paid to her joint checking account.
Payment to joint checking account
The funds embezzled by Lonestar were deposited into a joint checking account. This joint account was likely used to mask the illicit nature of the transactions.
Gina Suzanne Lonestar’s Role
Positions held at Men’s Wearhouse
During the time of the embezzlement scheme, Gina Suzanne Lonestar held various positions at Men’s Wearhouse. She started as a Director in the Facilities Department and was later promoted to Senior Director of Facilities and Corporate Services. Eventually, she became the Vice President of Construction, Maintenance, and Facilities.
Authority to approve invoices
In all of her roles at Men’s Wearhouse, Lonestar had the authority to approve invoices for work done by vendors. This authority enabled her to facilitate the embezzlement scheme by approving false invoices from the fake vendor she created.
Abuse of authority
Gina Suzanne Lonestar abused her authority within Men’s Wearhouse by approving false invoices submitted by the fake vendor. She exploited her position to deceive the accounts payable department and embezzle funds from the company.
Detection of the fraud
Lonestar’s embezzlement scheme came to light in 2019 when the company discovered the fraudulent activity during an internal audit. The company became aware of the false invoices and subsequently launched an investigation, leading to the exposure and ultimate prosecution of Lonestar.
Investigation and Indictment
Discovery of the embezzlement during internal audit
During an internal audit conducted by Men’s Wearhouse in 2019, the fraudulent activity orchestrated by Gina Suzanne Lonestar was discovered. The company detected the false invoices and immediately initiated an investigation into the matter.
Date of the federal grand jury indictment
Following the discovery of the embezzlement, a federal grand jury indicted Lonestar on September 8, 2022. The indictment charged her with six counts of wire fraud, a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1343.
Charges against Gina Suzanne Lonestar
Gina Suzanne Lonestar faced six counts of wire fraud, which stemmed from her embezzlement scheme. Wire fraud charges are a serious offense, carrying severe penalties upon conviction.
As part of a plea agreement, Lonestar pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud on May 19, 2023. During her sentencing hearing, the remaining counts against her were dismissed.
Length of the sentence
Gina Suzanne Lonestar was sentenced to 22 months in federal prison for her involvement in the wire fraud scheme. The length of her sentence reflects the seriousness of the offense and serves as a deterrent for potential future perpetrators.
In addition to the prison term, Lonestar was ordered to serve three years of supervised release. This means that once she completes her prison sentence, she will be under close supervision and subject to specific conditions that must be followed.
Forfeiture money judgment
Judge Jon S. Tigar ordered Lonestar to pay a forfeiture money judgment of $1,736,216. This amount represents the funds that Lonestar embezzled from Men’s Wearhouse during the course of her scheme.
Start date of the sentence
Gina Suzanne Lonestar is scheduled to begin serving her sentence on January 5, 2024. This start date allows for logistical arrangements and ensures the smooth transition of Lonestar into the prison system.
A hearing has been scheduled for December 1, 2023, to determine issues regarding restitution. Restitution is an important aspect of the legal process and ensures that the victims of the crime are compensated for the financial harm they have suffered.
Issues to be determined
During the restitution hearing, various factors will be considered to determine the appropriate amount and method of restitution. These factors may include the amount embezzled, the financial impact on the company, and the ability of the defendant to make restitution payments.
Assistant United States Attorney Noah Stern
Assistant United States Attorney Noah Stern is leading the prosecution team in the case against Gina Suzanne Lonestar. Stern brings expertise in handling white-collar crime and is dedicated to seeking justice in this embezzlement case.
Assistance from Elizabeth Kim and Kathleen Turner
Elizabeth Kim and Kathleen Turner are providing assistance to Assistant United States Attorney Noah Stern in prosecuting the case against Gina Suzanne Lonestar. Their contribution to the team’s efforts reflects the collective commitment to the pursuit of justice.
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) conducted the investigation into Gina Suzanne Lonestar’s embezzlement scheme. The FBI’s expertise in financial crimes and their commitment to upholding the law were instrumental in successfully uncovering the extent of the scheme and ensuring that Lonestar was brought to justice.
The sentencing of Gina Suzanne Lonestar for wire fraud and embezzling $1.7 million from her former employer, Men’s Wearhouse, marks an important step towards justice. Lonestar’s involvement in the creation of a fake vendor and the submission of false invoices over an eight-year period highlights the impact of white-collar crimes on businesses and the importance of internal audits in detecting such fraudulent activities. The diligent efforts of the investigating agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the effective prosecution by Assistant United States Attorney Noah Stern and his team have resulted in a clear message that embezzlement will not be tolerated. Restitution hearings will further address the financial harm caused by Lonestar’s actions, ensuring that the company is compensated for the losses incurred. This case serves as a reminder of the need for robust financial oversight and the consequences faced by individuals who engage in fraudulent activities that harm businesses and the economy as a whole.