A Madison man pleaded guilty Monday to wire fraud charges in what officials called a “ticket switching” scam at home improvement stores in Maine.

Aaron Hoster, 51, removed barcode labels from low-cost items and then applied them to higher-priced items that he then purchased at Home Depot and Lowe’s stores, officials said.

Hoster entered guilty pleas to charges of wire fraud and attempted wire fraud in U.S. District Court in Bangor, according to information released Monday by the U.S. attorney’s office for the District of Maine.

Hoster perpetrated the scam between June 2021 to April 2023, according to court records. The U.S. attorney’s office said Hoster defrauded multiple Home Depot and Lowe’s stores in Maine, cheating the retailers out of more than $51,000.

In one case, Hoster paid $19.98 for a $439 cordless finish nailer kit by scanning a price code for trimmer line, according to the U.S. attorney’s office. In another case, he paid $11.36 for a powered drain cleaner valued at $429 by scanning a barcode for a chrome-plated plastic tailpiece.

Hoster faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. He is to be sentenced after the completion of a presentence investigation report by the U.S. Probation Office.

Comments are not available on this story.