Antitrust Lawyer Blog Commentary on Current Developments

FORMER HOME DEPOT PRODUCT MERCHANT PLEADS GUILTY

On May 19, 2009, Ronald Douglas Matheny II, the former product merchant in Home Depot’s flooring department, pled guilty to his role in a conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud and a conspiracy to commit money laundering connected to a scheme to defraud his former employer, Home Depot.

Mr. Matheny was employed with Home Depot from May 1987 to July 2007. He was responsible for locating outside firms to facilitate the displays of flooring merchandise in all of Home Depot’s retail stores. He and un-named co-conspirators sold items for re-sale to Home Depot and supplied services to Home Depot on less than advantageous terms. For this Mr. Matheny received approximately $1.5 million in kickbacks from his co-conspirators.

Earlier this month, Melissa Deaton Tesvich, ex-wife of former Home Depot employee, Anthony Tesvich, who pled guilty for one count of wire fraud, herself pled guilty to one count of filing a false tax return.

On January 15, 2009, Ronald K. Johnston, a former employee of Home Depot, pled guilty to conspiring to commit wire fraud and for two counts of filing false tax returns in an attempt to defraud Home Depot. The conspiracy took place between 2005 and 2007. Specifically, Mr. Johnston received kickbacks from foreign suppliers seeking to do business with Home Depot. In return, Mr. Johnston purchased supplies on behalf of Home Depot on less than the most advantageous terms for Home Depot. Anthony Tesvich, the former husband of Ms. Tesvich, passed on kickbacks to Mr. Johnston worth thousands of dollars and paid for home improvement expenses for Mr. Johnston’s residence. As a part of the same investigation, on July 11, 2008, James P. Robinson, a former Divisional Merchandising Manager for flooring at Home Depot, pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and two counts of tax evasion related to a scheme to defraud Home Depot. On April 2, 2009, Mr. Johnston and Mr. Robinson were sentenced to serve five years and three months, which would be followed by three years of supervised release. The court ordered both to pay $1.7 million in restitution. Mr. Johnston pled guilty to the charges in January 2009 and Mr. Robinson pled guilty to the charges in July 2008.


Andre Barlow

(202) 589-1834
abarlow@dbmlawgroup.com