A Florida man who just bought an island for $8 million was charged for allegedly stealing $300 from a local Kmart by returning recent purchases without the original items in the packing.
59-year-old Andrew Lippi is the proprietor of the resort that was used as the dwelling for the cast of The Real World season 17.
Two weeks ago, Lippi additionally became the new owner of Thompson Island, a five-acre private isle off the coast of the Florida Keys. Lippi reportedly bought the island as a home for his sizeable family to reside. The closing deal for his purchase of the island was reported as taking place on March 28.
Two days after procuring the piece of land it was postulated by the authorities that Lippi began a week-long scam in an alleged attempt to swindle Kmart out of cash.
The method by which the authorities have accused Lippi of employing to plunder the funds involves a process by which the man reportedly made purchases of relatively low-cost household items. Lippi then purportedly returned the original packaging containing items that differed from the initial contents.
News outlets have reported some of the alleged transactions, and a couple of the listed offending items exchanged for cash were purchases of a Keurig coffee machine returned with a basketball inside, and an 8-pack of light bulbs that had been switched with different bulbs.
The total amount that Kmart estimated was taken from them based on the allegedly bogus returns was $300.59.
Last weekend, Lippi was taken into custody for the allegations and charged with grand theft of $300 to under $5,000 which is a felony in Florida. He was released without bond after his booking and is awaiting an arraignment scheduled in mid-April for the accusations.
In response to the charges, Lippi said that he did not put different lightbulbs inside of the packages, but had returned them after realizing he had paid more than he wanted to for them.
When speaking of the interactions with the involved law enforcement agents, Lippi said that they were “some of the finest people I’ve ever dealt with,” and that they handled what he described as a complicated situation wonderfully.
Lippi said a “commercial dispute” was involved regarding the alleged theft, and he expressed his innocence and his intentions to fight the charge.
If you or someone you love is suspected of grand theft, contact Orange County criminal defense lawyer Staycie R. Sena at (949) 477-8088 for a consultation now.