Lawrence man who defrauded Payless sentenced

August 29, 2018 - 7:06 pm

A Lawrence architect has been sentenced to almost two years in federal prison for defrauding Payless ShoeSource.

Manuel Francisco Ruiz-Lacayo, 38, also was ordered Tuesday to pay $425,000 in restitution. He previously pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud.

Prosecutors 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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