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Feds say man used 173 accounts to scam Lowe's of $2.6 million

By the time of his arrest, Kenneth Cassidy had opened 173 fraudulent accounts at Lowe's department stores in Amherst and across the country, according to investigators.

And his scheme netted him $2.6 million in goods, they claim.

Cassidy, 50, of Brooklyn, appeared Tuesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael J. Roemer in Buffalo to face a grand jury indictment charging him with wire fraud.

At the core of the charges is the allegation that Cassidy opened fraudulent Lowe's Accounts Receivable (LAR) accounts at several stores and then, before the fraud could be discovered, used the accounts to make fraudulent purchases.

It's not clear from court papers what happened to the fraudulent goods from Lowe's, or what items Cassidy bought. He was charged here because a number of the allegedly victimized stores were in the Buffalo and Rochester area.

Investigators claim Cassidy used counterfeit checks or checks with insufficient funds to open the accounts and would then buy goods until the accounts were empty or closed.

The accounts, according to court papers, were opened under fake business names such as Simple Repair Service, Statewide Repair, New Repair or Kleenup All Services.

The loss to Lowe's is estimated at $2.6 million and Cassidy's scheme is believed to have lasted from June 2012 until December 2015 and targeted stores here and across the country.

Defense attorney Terence B. Newcomb declined to comment Tuesday.

The indictment against Cassidy is the result of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service's  Criminal Investigation Division, New York State Police, U.S. Marshals Service and the Homeland Security Investigations division of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

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