Central Texas man accused of defrauding Walmart held without bond

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TEMPLE, Texas (KWTX) A Temple man was ordered held without bond Wednesday in U.S. Magistrate’s Court in Waco after investigators say he defrauded Walmart and Sam’s Club in an elaborate scheme.

U.S. Magistrate Jeffrey C. Manske denied bond for Jose Andres Almonte after a complaint introduced in court shows Almonte used a scheme to steal money from Walmart and Sam’s Club that involved purchasing computers, removing essential parts, and then returning them for refund saying the machines didn’t work.

The complaint reads, in part, “On October 23, 2018, Almonte (used) one of his Sam's Club membership cards to gain access to Sam's Club #633 6, located in Temple,” and on that day he also used “a credit/debit card at Sam's Club, #633 6 … to purchase a computer.”

The complaint goes on to explain Almonte “removed or caused to be removed internal computer components from the purchased computer,” and then “On or about October 23, 2018, Almonte returned the computer, with the components removed … and fraudulently received a refund.”

A Walmart Global Investigation and Security Team investigator told authorities that Almonte “devised a scheme or artifice to defraud Walmart by purchasing computers via credit/debit cards, removing internal components and then returning or exchanging the computers under the false pretense that the return was fully legitimate,” the complaint says.

The investigator reported Almonte had used the same scheme at Walmarts and Sam’s Clubs across Texas.

Almonte is set for his formal arraignment at 10 a.m. Thursday.