Cops: Guy Pulled Same Con Over and Over at Home Depot

Connecticut man got nearly $300K in store credit by 'returning' pricey doors he hadn't bought
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 3, 2023 1:32 PM CDT
Cops: Fake Contractor Kept Pulling Same Home Depot Con
A Home Depot store in North Miami, Florida.   (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)

A Connecticut man was given nearly $300,000 in fraudulent Home Depot credit by walking into stores in several states, taking expensive doors, and then returning them without a receipt, federal prosecutors allege. 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, per the AP.

  • The ruse: Costa-Mota dressed to appear like a contractor and entered the stores empty-handed, prosecutors allege in court documents. He would then load a door or several doors worth hundreds of dollars each onto a lumber cart, take them to the service department, and return them without a receipt, authorities said. He was given a store credit that he later redeemed at other stores, prosecutors said. If the return was denied, he would allegedly take the doors without paying and return them at another store.
  • Several states: Home Deport stores in Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey were involved. The defendant was given about 370 fraudulent store credits between June 2021 and February 2022, prosecutors said.
(More Home Depot stories.)

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