Arizona Home Depot employee accused of replacing $400k with counterfeit bills

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U.S. Secret Service officials on Friday arrested an Arizona Home Depot employee accused of replacing nearly $400,000 worth of cash with counterfeit bills.

Agents arrested Adrian Jean Pineda after he allegedly counted and sealed genuine cash into bags for transfer and deposit at a Wells Fargo bank before replacing it with his own counterfeit cash between January 2018 and January 2022, according to the Secret Service.

The Home Depot in the Lakewood Center on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021 in Lakewood, CA. (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

The Home Depot in the Lakewood Center on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021 in Lakewood, CA. (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

“The Secret Service was originally formed in 1865 to enforce federal laws against counterfeiting,” U.S. Secret Service Phoenix Field Office Special Agent in Charge Frank Boudreaux Jr. said in a Friday statement. “This case illustrates the continued commitment of the Secret Service and the US Attorney’s Office to investigating and prosecuting counterfeit violations.”

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He added that Pineda’s “arrest and search warrant operation marked the culmination of a strategic investigation enacted by Phoenix special agents, Home Depot security personnel and Wells Fargo Bank.”

One hundred US dollar banknotes are seen on display. (Photo Illustration by Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

One hundred US dollar banknotes are seen on display. (Photo Illustration by Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Pineda was a vault associate at the home supplies retailer, meaning he was in charge of preparing cash for deposits. The Home Depot recorded $387,500 in losses as a result of Pineda’s scheme.

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During his Jan. 31 arrest, Secret Service agents also seized $5,000 in counterfeit currency and recovered $5,300 in genuine currency. They also discovered $22,000 in genuine currency while executing on a search warrant at Pineda’s home.

A worker wearing a Home Depot branded apron pushes a shopping cart at a store in Colma, California, U.S., on Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

A worker wearing a Home Depot branded apron pushes a shopping cart at a store in Colma, California, U.S., on Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Pineda is set to appear in district court on Feb. 7.

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