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West Hartford Man Faces Deportation to Brazil after Sentencing for Defrauding of Home Depot

A former West Hartford resident and Brazilian national has been sentenced and faces deportation in connection with a multi-state scheme to defraud Home Depot stores.

By Ronni Newton

A Brazilian national, who until his arrest and detention was a West Hartford resident – who was indicted in June 2023 by a federal grand jury in Providence, RI, and pleaded guilty on Nov. 9 to charges of wire fraud and conspiracy – has now been sentenced, United States Attorney Zachary A. Cunha announced Tuesday and faces deportation proceedings.

Alexandre Henrique Costa-Mota, 27, has been sentenced by U.S. District Court Chief Judge John J. McConnell, Jr. to time served and three years of federal supervised release. He was also ordered to pay restitution to Home Depot in the amount of $297,332.

The nearly $300,000 figure is the sum Costa-Mota obtained through a scheme, that lasted more than eight months, to defraud more than two dozen Home Depot stores in eight different states – Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey – by stealing and returning merchandise and amassing and then spending store credit. According to Cunha, Costa-Mota obtained 370 fraudulent store credits during the period June 2021 through February 2022.

According to court documents, Costa-Mota allegedly entered the Home Depot stores empty-handed, dressed to appear to be 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,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office stated in the announcement of Costa-Mota’s detention.

The scheme took place on at least 60 occasions over the eight-month period, in at least 40 different store locations. “To evade detection, he used fake driver licenses for identification purposes,” Tuesday’s announcement states.

Costa-Mota is being turned over to Immigration and Custom Enforcement and will face deportation proceedings, according to Cunha.

The case was prosecuted in U.S. District Court in Rhode Island by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Dulce Donovan and Milind M. Shah, and was investigated by the United States Secret Service.

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