Man Charged in Home Depot Fraud Scam

Robert Dooley allegedly perpetrated the scam more than 40 times at stores throughout New England

A Salem, Massachusetts, man is facing charges that he attemtped to defraud Home Depot of more than $35,000.

Robert Dooley, 56, was charged with one count of wire fraud. He was arrested on Thursday morning and was expected to appear in U.S. District Court in Boston later in the day.

The criminal complaint alleges that between January and February 2016, Dooley engaged in a scheme to defraud Home Depot by "returning" items that he never purchased from the store to receive store credit.

On each occasion, he entered Home Depot stores empty handed and gathered merchandise totalling $500 to $900. At the returns desk, he then falsely claimed that he had previously purchased the items but did not have a receipt. He was then issued a Home Depot card for the fraudulent return.

According to the complaint, Dooley perpetrated the scam more than 40 times at Home Depot stores in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Maine, racking up over $35,000 in fraudulent returns.

Dooley was convicted in 2007 of federal wire fraud charges related to a nearly identifical scheme in which he defrauded Home Depot of more than $330,000 from 2004 through 2007.

He wound up being sentenced to five years in federal prison.

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