WASHINGTON — The former head of security at the Neiman Marcus store in D.C.’s Friendship Heights neighborhood was sentenced to a year and a day in prison for arranging fake returns and pocketing $130,000 in cash over a period of three years.
Alexander Gulino, 53, of Northern Virginia, came up with a plan to process fake merchandise returns at the Wisconsin Avenue store and then took cash from store registers, according to court documents.
Gulino, who worked at the store for more than two decades, was in charge of the department that handles what retailers call “loss prevention.” His duties included supervising the placement of surveillance cameras in the store. But, prosecutors also noted he was in charge of customer service — a position that allowed him access to returns in the store’s computer systems.
Prosecutors alleged that Gulino carried out more than 300 fake returns between 2012 and 2015, and that his activities were discovered only after a change in store software picked up on unusual activity.
The store installed surveillance video in an office without Gulino’s knowledge so that he could be monitored. They also installed software that could monitor Gulino’s keystrokes on cash registers. Both allowed the retailer to discover that Gulino would carry out the fake returns, take cash out of the registers and shred the receipts that were produced.
The defense in the case argued that Gulino was overwhelmed with financial and personal problems that prompted him to commit the crime, and that since he was fired in 2015, he worked two jobs and sought mental health treatment. They also pointed out Gulino had no previous criminal history.
As part of his sentence, Gulino will have to pay $134,024 in restitution, perform 360 hours of community service and he’ll be subject to three years of supervised release.
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