Twin brothers get 4 years in prison for thefts, ordered to repay $933K to Home Depot
Two brothers were sentenced Monday to four years in prison for stealing from Home Depot stores throughout the suburbs, in many cases by making fraudulent returns of items.
Twins John Miotke and Michael Miotke, 45, both of Round Lake, pleaded guilty in June to the charge of a continuing financial crimes enterprise. Charges of theft, retail theft and burglary were dropped as part of the plea agreement.
The Miotkes also were ordered Monday to repay $933,666 to Home Depot. That's the amount Home Depot investigators believe the Miotkes may have taken from the company's stores in 24 states.
The Miotkes were charged in October 2019 in DuPage County with stealing from a Home Depot in Downers Grove after Home Depot security workers, investigating thefts in multiple states, notified Downers Grove police.
They were indicted a month later on that and more charges that they stole from Home Depot stores in Downers Grove, Carol Stream, Woodridge, Glendale Heights, Oak Lawn, Schaumburg, Bartlett, Mount Prospect, Naperville, Northlake, Niles, Mundelein, Oakbrook Terrace, Oswego, Ingleside, Lake Zurich, Gurnee, Alsip, Elgin, Calumet City, Countryside, Shorewood, Homer Glen and Elk Grove Village.
The continuing financial crimes enterprise indictment said the crimes happened from August through November 2018.
The indictments alleged John Miotke stole a DeWalt pressure washer, LED lights, vinyl flooring and Honda lawn mowers. Michael Miotke was accused of taking DeWalt pressure washers, Toro snowblowers, Honda lawn mowers, laminate flooring, vinyl flooring, lights, laser projectors and a Weber grill.
The Miotkes had two ways of stealing. They would buy items, take them to their vehicle, go back into the store, select identical items and "return" them using the receipt from the purchase. They also would walk out with the second item and, if stopped by store workers, would show the purchase receipt, court documents show.
At their bond hearing in October 2019, DuPage County Assistant State's Attorney Diane Michalak told the judge Home Depot suspected the Miotkes had been doing this since October 2014 in as many as 20 states. She said there were records showing that since March 2016, they were suspected of making fraudulent returns of 237 lawn mowers, 238 pressure washers, 313 cases of vinyl flooring and 164 snowblowers.
The Miotkes will have to serve at least 50% of their sentences before being eligible for parole.
They both have federal convictions for passing counterfeit money in Texas in 1998. John Miotke also received court supervision on a theft charge in Lake County in 2010.