Anthony Allan of Sycamore Court in Grantham admitted committing fraud by false representation after attempting to get a refund for a vacuum cleaner at B&M Bargains in Grantham.
Allan, 33, told staff at the store he was returning the cleaner after his wife had purchased it the previous day.
However, when suspicious staff checked the CCTV they found that Allan had merely picked up the cleaner moments earlier from within the store and walked over to the till to ask for a refund.
Edward Johnson, prosecuting, said Allan told police officers in interiew he “had lost his job, had bills to pay and three children to provide for. He said ‘it seemed like a good idea at the time’.”
Giles Tyas, defending, said Allan turned up to work a month ago to find the company had gone into administration and he was out of a job.
Mr Tyas said that Allan was still owed money by his former employer and his application for Job Seeker’s Allowance took weeks to go through.
Chair of magistrates Kevin Moody said: “It was obviously a very foolish thing you chose to do, especially after keeping out of trouble for an amount of time and being in gainful employment.
“We understand you have responsibilities but this was no way to fulfil those responsibilities.”
Allan was fined £70 and ordered to pay costs of £85 along with a £20 surcharge.