Aeropostale Jury Says Ex-Executive Must Forfeit $25M

Aeropostale Inc.’s former top merchandise executive Christopher Finazzo, who was convicted of defrauding the clothing retailer, was ordered to forfeit more than $25 million, prosecutors said.

Finazzo, 57, was found guilty of 14 counts of mail fraud and one count each of conspiracy and wire fraud on April 25 in Brooklyn, New York, federal court. The jury returned a separate verdict today on assets Finazzo must forfeit, prosecutors said.

Jurors unanimously found that Finazzo must turn over $25.79 million in cash, interest in four Calverton, New York, properties and as much as $300,000 from a trading account, Robert Nardoza, spokesman for Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch, said in a statement.

The former executive steered $350 million worth of business to South Bay Apparel Inc., a supplier controlled by his friend Douglas Dey, the government said in a trial before U.S. District Judge Roslynn R. Mauskopf. Aeropostale overpaid for the merchandise and Finazzo and Dey shared the revenue, the government said. Finazzo faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison on each of the fraud counts.

Robert J.A. Zito, a lawyer for Finazzo, didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment on the jury’s decision.

The case is U.S. v. Finazzo, 10-cr-00457, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn).