Home Depot Worker Accused of 4-Year 'Funny Money' Scheme

Officials say Ariz. man replaced nearly $400K in real currency with fake cash
By Stephanie Mojica,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 5, 2022 11:00 AM CST
Home Depot Employee Accused of Stealing $400K
An Arizona man allegedly stole nearly $400,000 in cash through his job at Home Depot, per FOX 10.   (Getty Images)

Times are tough, but law enforcement officials say one Home Depot employee went too far and allegedly used his job to steal almost $400,000 over a four-year period, per the New York Daily News. Adrian Jean Pineda of Tempe, Ariz., was arrested Jan. 31 for allegedly replacing genuine currency with fake cash in his role as a vault associate, according to a Secret Service press release. Pineda's job was to collect the cash from registers, count it, and seal it for bank deposits. During the course of his work, he allegedly replaced $387,500 of legit bills with fake ones from January 2018 to January of this year.

The Home Depot for which Pineda worked launched an investigation in December, and surveillance cameras appeared to catch Pineda swapping real cash for funny money 16 times, FOX 10 reports. After a search of Pineda's person and his home, Secret Service agents allege they found $5,000 of counterfeit dough and $27,300 in legit cash. Instead of the serial numbers that legitimate currency bears, the bills Pineda allegedly deposited in the Wells Fargo bank account of his now-former employer read "play money," per FOX 10.

Pineda "was in a position of trust, and in a position where he could do the crime, and so if we hadn't intervened, I don't know what the dollar amount [in losses] would be," one Secret Service agent told the outlet. Law enforcement officials say Pineda confessed to the crime. Pineda, who was released without bail, is facing an official charge of uttering of counterfeit US currency, per the Secret Service. If convicted, Pineda could be fined, spend up to 20 years in prison, or both, according to Cornell Law School. (Read more counterfeit stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.