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A Florida man was just purchased an entire private island was allegedly caught trying to swindle a Key West Kmart over the weekend.
Andrew Lippi, 59, is accused of buying about $300 worth of household goods from a Kmart between March 30 and April 4 and then attempting to replace those items with different, cheaper items so he could get a refund, ABC News reports.
For example, Lippi bought a $150 Keurig coffee machine. Then, he allegedly tried to return the box with no machine. Instead, there was allegedly a basketball shoved inside, according to WPLG in Miami. He allegedly also bought a $55 Hamilton Beach coffee maker, which he allegedly "replaced with a much older coffee maker” before returning it for a refund, according to an arrest report cited by ABC News.
"Lippi stated he did not change out any items prior to returning them," an officer wrote in the report. "I asked Lippi about the Keurig coffee machine being replaced by a basketball, and he stated the clerk should have realized there was no coffee machine by the weight of the box.”
Other items lumped into the alleged scam include light bulbs and a bed skirt.
Lippi was arrested on grand theft charges and released the next day. He posted no bond for his release. He's due back in court on April 18.
He told the Miami Herald that the situation "has to do with a commercial dispute."
"It's very complicated and I’d rather not get into it," he said. "I will say this, that the way it was handled by Key West police and the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department was wonderful. Some of the finest people I’ve ever dealt with who were kind throughout the whole process."
In addition to purchasing an $8 million island off the coast of Key West just one week before the alleged stealing incident, Lippi owns several other homes including a 12-bedroom home used for the 2006 season of MTV’s "The Real World,” which he rents out for $1,799 a night, WPLG reports.
In a Miami Herald article about the private island purchase, Lippi said, “I’m a pretty private guy. I try not to dangle out there.”
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