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Home Depot worker arrested for passing nearly $400K in counterfeit money

The worker is being accused of stealing the money from the store and replacing it with counterfeit currency during his shifts, U.S. Secret Service said.

A Home Depot employee has been arrested for swapping out $387,500 of the store’s cash with counterfeit money, the U.S. Secret Service said in a news release Friday.

Adrian Jean Pineda worked as a vault associate in a store in Tempe, Arizona — where he was responsible for preparing cash from registers for bank deposits, a process that included counting cash and sealing cash bags for transfer and deposit to a Wells Fargo bank.

According to a criminal complaint, Pineda had been taking money from the deposits and replacing it with counterfeit currency during his shifts.

The Home Depot store reported losing $387,500 between January 2018 to January 2022 due to receiving counterfeit notes in their cash deposits, the U.S. Secret Service said.

Agents from the U.S. Secret Service office in Phoenix arrested Pineda on Monday and seized $5,000 in counterfeit money and recovered $5,300 in genuine currency, according to the news release. Agents recovered an additional $22,000 in genuine currency while conducting a search warrant on Pineda’s home.

“This case illustrates the continued commitment of the Secret Service and the US Attorney’s Office to investigating and prosecuting counterfeit violations," Frank Boudreaux Jr. of the U.S. Secret Service office in Phoenix said in a statement, adding that Pineda's arrest "marked the culmination of a strategic investigation enacted by Phoenix special agents, Home Depot security personnel and Wells Fargo Bank."

Pineda has been charged with uttering of counterfeit U.S. currency and is set to appear in court on Feb. 7 for a status hearing at the federal district court in Arizona.