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Partner in Saddle Brook design company pocketed $400,000, authorities charge

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: A partner in a Saddle Brook fashion design company who authorities said kept $400,000 in seed money without producing a single stitch is free on $75,000 bail after being arrested and charged with theft.

Fashion designer Lina M. Martinez was arrested at her sister’s house on Rutherford Boulevard in Clifton yesterday, a few days after she returned to New Jersey from Colombia, Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli said this morning.

Martinez created Marti Prive International LLC, at Park 80 West Plaza, three years ago with Kenneth Zuckerberg of Woodcliff Lake and Thomas Costabile of Old Tappan. The company said it was created to sell one-of-a-kind red-carpet dresses for musical artists & entertainers, along with lingerie, swimwear and nightwear.

Her partners told investigators they gave Martinez $400,000 in 2009 to set up and operate a clothing factory in Colombia. However, they said, they didn’t get any finished products in return.

Detectives from Molinelli’s White Collar Crimes Unit found that Martinez, 31, “produced fake invoices to account for the missing company funds,” the prosecutor said.

She was arraigned yesterday in Central Municipal Court in Hackensack.

Lina Martinez (MUGSHOT: BCPO)

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