FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 19, 2012
Allegedly Stole $257,000 From Numerous Home Depot Stores
NEWARK N.J. – Two New York men were arrested this morning for defrauding Home Depot out of more than $257,000 through an elaborate “double-dipping” scheme that they committed at various Home Depot locations throughout the United States, including New Jersey.
Renauld Medard and Wesly Diedonne, both of Brooklyn, New York, are charged by Complaint with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. They were scheduled to make their initial court appearances this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Cathy L. Waldor in Newark federal Court.
According to the Complaint:
From July 2009 through November 2011, Medard and Diedonne routinely made purchases of various items from Home Depot locations in New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. They would allegedly assemble two shopping carts containing identical items. Leaving one cart of merchandise stashed in a location in the store (“Cart 2”), Medard and Diedonne purchased the identical set of items contained in the other cart (“Cart 1”). They would typically purchase the items in Cart 1 using cash, credit cards, fraudulently obtained store credit or a combination of the three. Medard and Diedonne would then leave the store with the items in Cart 1, as well as the receipt issued by the store for the purchase, leaving Cart 2 inside the store.
Medard and Diedonne would return to the store almost immediately with a receipt corresponding to the items in Cart 1 and retrieve Cart 2, containing items identical to those in Cart 1. Under the guise that they had forgotten to purchase an item, usually an inexpensive one, Medard and Diedonne would return to the register with Cart 2, and purchase only the one additional small item. They would present the receipt for the items previously purchased from Cart 1 in the prior transaction and attempt to deceive the cashier into believing that the items in Cart 2 had already been purchased.
Medard and Diedonne would later go back to the same Home Depot store or traveled to different Home Depot store locations to return the items. In some instances, Medard and Diedonne presented a receipt in order to effectuate the return. In other instances, defendants Medard and Diedonne obtained a refund for store credit without presenting a receipt.
Based on, among other things, the purchase receipts, return receipts, video surveillance tapes, and the identification information submitted in connection with Non-Receipted Refunds, between July 2009 and November 2011, Medard and Diedonne carried out the scheme hundreds of times at various Home Depot locations in numerous states, fraudulently obtaining Home Depot store credit and refunds totaling at least $257,462.95.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credit special agents of the U.S. Secret Service, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James Mottola, for the investigation leading to today’s arrest.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicholas P. Grippo of the U.S. Attorney’s Office General Crimes Unit in Newark.
The charge and allegations in the Complaint are merely accusations and the defendant is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.