Taxi drivers

Fraudster jailed for targeting taxi drivers in Luton and Dunstable with scam

A fraudster who posed as a pharmacy manager to defraud taxi drivers has been jailed after pleading guilty to 37 offences.

Gerardo Gaudiosi, 55, of no fixed address, was jailed for a year and five months after pleading guilty to fraud by false representation between October 2019 and February 2022.

Gaudiosi allegedly targets taxi drivers in Luton and Dunstable, claiming to be the manager of Boots Pharmacy and asking for their help.

Gerard Gaudiosi

He was asking the taxi driver to retrieve urgent software, pick up passengers from a hotel, and then return to the pharmacy to deliver the software.

Taxi drivers were convinced to prepay Gaudiosi, before being given envelopes containing blank discs.

They would then be told to take the discs to Boots, where they would find out that the person is not employed by the company and that they have no software issues – meaning the drivers lost both the money they handed over and the fare that was not paid. .

Gaudiosi was arrested on April 7, having already been charged with 33 offenses, and has been charged with four more.

Officers discovered the phone number linked to the incidents was being used by Gaudiosi, and he was also captured on CCTV meeting the drivers.

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He was sentenced Friday, May 13 by the Crown Court of Luton to 17 months in prison.

Investigator Jenita Tailor, from the Force 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 in advance.

“Fraud is never okay, and we have a dedicated team to help keep you safe.

“We urge anyone to think twice before handing over money, as there aren’t many legitimate reasons for people to ask for money. We also encourage people to ask for verification and, if ever you are worried, contact the store for more details.

“Please continue to report any suspicious or fraudulent activity.”

For more information on how to avoid becoming a victim of fraud, visit the Action Fraud website.

To report, call 101 or online via the Bedfordshire Police website. Report a crime | Bedfordshire Police (beds.police.uk)