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Fraudster Scams Home Depot Out of Thousands

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Knowledge Nuggets:

  • Aaron Hoster, 51, allegedly carried out a “ticket-switching” scheme at various Home Depot stores in Maine, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.
  • Over an 18-month span, Hoster is accused of swapping price codes on items, paying lower prices for expensive power tools at self-checkout lines.
  • Hoster faces wire fraud and attempted wire fraud charges, up to 20 years in prison, and a fine of $250,000 if convicted.

Federal authorities have accused Aaron Hoster, 51, of bilking Home Depot stores out of thousands of dollars through a “ticket-switching” scheme, targeting various locations in Maine, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.

Over 18 months beginning in December 2020, Hoster allegedly scraped price codes off items under $30 and placed them on more expensive power tools, sometimes costing up to $1,200. He then proceeded to pay the lower price at self-checkout lines.

Hoster is now facing wire fraud and attempted wire fraud charges. According to the complaint unsealed on May 3, he made off with thousands of dollars that should have been paid to the home improvement retailer.

In one instance, Hoster allegedly placed a $37.50 price tag from a generator adapter on a Honda generator worth $1,299.

Previously, Hoster was arrested in Westminster, Maryland, on state charges for the same scheme, and in November 2022, he pleaded guilty and served jail time.

However, just three days after his release from jail in Maryland on March 10, he allegedly attempted the ticket-switching scheme again at a Home Depot in Waterville, Maine, but fled without the items when confronted by store personnel.

If convicted of wire fraud, Hoster could face up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. He is currently being held without bail by a federal judge.


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