Federal authorities claim that a Connecticut man entered stores in many states, took pricey doors, and then returned them without a receipt to receive over $300,000 in false Home Depot credit.
The U.S. attorney’s office in Providence said in a statement on Wednesday that Alexandre Henrique Costa-Mota, 26, of West Hartford, Connecticut, was detained without bail after a judge entered not-guilty pleas on his behalf this week in federal court in Rhode Island to wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
A message asking for comment was placed on Costa-Mota’s attorney’s email.
In court documents, authorities claim that Costa-Mota dressed to look like a contractor and entered the stores without any money.
Then, according to the police, he would load one or more expensive doors onto a lumber cart, transport them to the service department, and then return them without giving a receipt.
According to the prosecution, he received a store credit that he later used at other retailers. Prosecutors claimed that if the return was turned down, the man would take the doors, pay nothing, and return them to another retailer.
There were affected Home deportation locations in New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maine, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, and Connecticut.
Between June 2021 and February 2022, the defendant allegedly received around 370 phony store credits, according to the prosecution.