’Blue Valentine’ Producer Sentenced for Aeropostale Scam

An Aeropostale Inc. T-shirt supplier who helped produce movies including “Blue Valentine” was sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison for his role in a scheme to cheat the clothing retailer with help from one of the company’s former executives.

Douglas Dey, 57, who owned South Bay Apparel Inc., was sentenced today in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, on a conspiracy count for paying more than $25 million in kickbacks to Aeropostale’s former chief merchandising officer Christopher Finazzo to secure $350 million in business.

Dey had pleaded guilty to the charge in 2012, while Finazzo was convicted by a jury of 16 counts of fraud and conspiracy in April 2013.

Through the scheme, the teen-focused retailer was “unknowingly underwriting enormous kickbacks to its own crooked executive” and to Dey, U.S. District Judge Roslynn R. Mauskopf said at a hearing today. “This is not only about dollars and cents. This is about a corrupt insider and a corrupt outsider.”

Dey was also ordered to pay more than $13.6 million in restitution to Aeropostale.

“I realize being naive and gullible is not a defense,” Dey said during the hearing. “The relationship was wrong.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney Winston Paes sought five years for Dey, arguing that the crime was “well-planned and concocted from the beginning” and damaged the retailer’s reputation as well as its finances.

Dey has served as a producer for more than a half-dozen films including “Blue Valentine,” whose lead actress Michelle Williams was nominated for an Oscar, and “Phoebe in Wonderland,” which starred Felicity Huffman and Bill Pullman, according to IMDb, an online movie database.

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