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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Massachusetts

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Salem Man Charged in Home Depot Fraud Scam

BOSTON – A Salem man was charged today in U.S. District Court in Boston with a scheme to defraud Home Depot of over $35,000.

Robert Dooley, 56, of Salem, Mass., was charged in a criminal complaint with one count of wire fraud.  He was arrested this morning and will appear before U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Jennifer C. Boal at 2:15 p.m.

The complaint alleges that between January 2016 and February 2016, Dooley engaged in a scheme to defraud Home Depot by “returning” items he never purchased from the store to receive store credit.  On each occasion, Dooley, entered Home Depot stores empty handed and gathered merchandise totaling $500 to $900.  At the returns desk, Dooley falsely claimed that he previously purchased the items, but did not have a receipt.  When he provided this driver’s license number to the clerk, Dooley often varied the number so the “return” would not immediately be detected as fraudulent.  Dooley was then issued a Home Depot card for the fraudulent return.  According to the complaint, Dooley perpetrated the scam over forty times at Home Depots stores in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Maine, racking up over $35,000 in fraudulent returns.

In 2007, Dooley was convicted of federal wire fraud charges arising out of a nearly identical scheme in which he defrauded Home Depot in excess of $330,000 from July 2004 through October 2005.  In that case, he was sentenced to five years in federal prison. 

The charging statute provides a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000.  Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties.  Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz and Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division, made the announcement today.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Eugenia M. Carris of Ortiz’s Public Corruption Unit.

Financial Fraud
Updated May 5, 2016