A fraudster who pretended to be a pharmacy manager to defraud taxi drivers, has been jailed after pleading guilty to 37 offences.
Gerardo Gaudiosi, 55, of no fixed abode, was jailed for one year and five months after pleading guilty to fraud by false representation between October 2019 and February 2022.
Gaudiosi would target taxi drivers in Luton and Dunstable, claiming to be the manager of Boots Pharmacy and requesting their help.
He would ask the taxi driver to collect some urgent software, collect passengers from a hotel and then return to the pharmacy to deliver the software.
The taxi drivers were convinced to pay upfront to Gaudiosi, before being given envelopes containing blank discs.
They would then be told to take the discs to Boots, where they would discover the person is not employed by the company and they do not have software issues – meaning the drivers lost both the cash they handed over and the fare that wasn’t paid.
Gaudiosi was arrested on April 7, having already been charged with 33 offences, and was charged with a further four.
Officers discovered the phone number linked to the incidents was being used by Gaudiosi, and he was also captured on CCTV meeting the drivers.
He was sentenced at Luton Crown Court on Friday (May 13) to 17 months’ imprisonment.
Investigation Officer Jenita Tailor, from the force’s dedicated fraud team, said: “Gaudiosi preyed on hard-working individuals for his own personal gain.
“He was very convincing, and promised to reimburse the drivers if they paid up front.
“Fraud is never acceptable, and we have a dedicated team to help you keep safe.
“We would urge anyone to think twice before handing over money, as there are not many legitimate reasons for people to ask for cash. We would also encourage people to ask for verification and if you are ever concerned make contact with the store for further clarification.
“Please continue to report any suspicious activity or fraudulant activty.“
For more information on how to prevent yourself from becoming a victim of fraud, visit the Action Fraud website.
To report call 101, or online via Bedfordshire Police’s website. Report a crime | Bedfordshire Police (beds.police.uk)