Connecticut Resident Indicted, Arraigned in Federal Court in Rhode Island In Multi-State Scheme to Defraud Home Depot
PROVIDENCE – A West Hartford, CT, resident has been arraigned in U.S. District Court in Providence, RI, on charges of conspiracy and wire fraud, as reflected in an indictment that alleges that he participated in a scheme to defraud Home Depot stores in eight states, including Rhode Island, of approximately $297,332, announced United States Attorney Zachary A. Cunha.
It is alleged in charging documents that, from at least June 2021 to February 2022, Alexandre Henrique Costa-Mota, 26, executed non-receipted return fraud schemes at more than two dozen Home Depot stores located primarily in Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Massachusetts, but also in Maine, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey.
It is alleged that Costa-Mota entered stores empty handed, dressed to appear like a contractor. He then collected Anderson doors, which he brought to each store’s Service Department where he made non-receipted returns of the doors. With each successful return, Costa-Mota was provided with a store credit that he later redeemed at other stores, mainly located in Connecticut. At times, when the stores refused to accept the receiptless returns, Costa-Mota simply exited the stores with the Anderson doors without paying for them and then returned the doors at other stores for store credit.
It is alleged that Costa-Mota received approximately 370 fraudulent store credits, valued at $297,332.
A federal grand jury in Providence returned an indictment on July 26, 2023, charging Costa-Mota with wire fraud and conspiracy. He was arraigned before a United States Magistrate Judge on August 1, 2023, and ordered detained.
A federal criminal indictment is merely an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Dulce Donovan.
The matter was investigated by the United States Secret Service.
Updated August 2, 2023
Press Release Number: 23-86