Thank you for all the comments! He is a petsmart betta. I was in right as they brought out the new shipment of bettas to stock on the shelves... he was the only nice looking fish there and I managed to snag him before he hit the shelf and before petsmart could abuse him further.
Apparently the floor associates are supposed to say that their HM (DeT and SDeT haha) fish are direct imports from thailand, while the VT, CT and females are american fish that get distributed out of the main warehouse in Reno. Does anyone know this for fact or are they just spinning more tales?