Lawrence man who defrauded Payless sentenced

Payless Bankruptcy_369038

FILE- This Aug. 23, 2006, file photo shows a Payless store front is seen in Philadelphia. Shoe chain Payless ShoeSource has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, becoming the latest retailer to succumb to increasing competition from online rivals like Amazon. The retailer said Tuesday, April 4, 2017, that it will be immediately closing nearly […]

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – A Lawrence architect has been sentenced to almost two years in federal prison for defrauding Payless ShoeSource.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that 38-year-old Manuel Francisco Ruiz-Lacayo also was ordered Tuesday to pay $425,000 in restitution. He previously pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud.

Proescutors say Ruiz-Lacayo worked as a project manager for store planning, designing exteriors and interior floor plans for new stores in Central and South America. Without Payless’s knowledge, Ruiz-Lacayo told contractors that 3D renderings of storefronts were required for all projects. He directed them to use a firm based in Costa Rica. In reality, the address he gave was his mother’s and no renderings were produced.

Ruiz-Lacayo submitted invoices from the fictitious firm to Payless for payment.

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