An investigation into poor sales at a Lake Delton clothing store has led to criminal charges against several employees.
According to criminal complaints filed by the Sauk County District Attorney’s Office, at least six employees took part in a scam that bilked tens of thousands of dollars from the Tommy Hilfiger store within the Tanger Outlet Mall.
The alleged thefts were uncovered when an internal audit specialist with PVH Corporation, the company that owns Tommy Hilfiger, was brought in to investigate poor sales at the store. The specialist told police the store has announced plans to close due to its bad performance.
The complaint says the audit specialist uncovered records of 30 store transactions between January and July that included deletions, price overrides and unauthorized discounts. In interviews with the auditor and police, several employees allegedly admitted to the thefts and disclosed the names of others who were involved.
The Sauk County District Attorney’s Office has filed felony theft charges against former Tommy Hilfiger employees Nicholas Rabska, 24, of Baraboo, and Stephanie Gitzlaff, 35, of Poynette. Four other employees, 45-year-old Janelle Bierman of Reedsburg, 30-year-old Susan K. Schumann of Baraboo, 25-year-old Acacia L. Berg of Reedsburg, and 66-year-old Connie M. Lewis of Reedsburg, all face misdemeanor theft charges.
It’s unclear exactly how much the alleged thefts totaled. However, one employee, Berg, allegedly estimated that the thefts she took part in totaled between $12,000 and $14,000.
“Berg stated that once the store announced it was closing she began to steal from the store more frequently,” a Lake Delton police officer reported.
The felony theft charges carry maximum sentences of six years in prison and $10,000 in fines. Rabska and Gitzlaff are due to appear in court Dec. 17.