'Italian Bonnie and Clyde' Caught in Thailand 6 Years After Impersonating George Clooney in Clothing Scam
Francesco Galdelli, 58, and Vanya Goffi, 45, were convicted and sentenced in 2014 by Italy’s Supreme Court, but by then they had fled the country.
An Italian couple wanted for allegedly impersonating George Clooney in a bid to sell their clothing line has been arrested after years on the run, authorities said.
Francesco Galdelli, 58, and his wife, Vanya Goffi, 45, who were dubbed the “Italian Bonnie and Clyde” after spending six years allegedly evading capture, were arrested Saturday in Thailand, Italian police told CNN.
Their arrests were the result of a joint operation by Royal Thai Police and Italian agents from Interpol, officials said.
Clooney testified in 2010 that Galdelli and Goffi were fraudulently using his name and forged signatures to create a fake fashion line. The couple has also been accused of selling watches online they claimed to be Rolexes, but sending the buyers packets of salt instead, Italian police told CNN.
Galdelli and Goffi were convicted and sentenced in 2014 by Italy’s Supreme Court, with the former receiving eight years and four months and the latter getting six years and five months, but by then, they had fled the country.
The pair was known to travel often to Thailand, where they were “considered respectable citizens and even benefactors amid the Italian community” there, a spokesperson with the Italian police said to CNN.
Police nabbed the couple Saturday after surrounding their luxury villa in the Thai resort city of Pattaya.
Galdelli was arrested on charges of illegally entering and staying in Thailand, while Goffi was charged with overstaying in the country.
Galdelli, who had no legitimate record documenting his entering Thailand, had once before been arrested in the country, but escaped one day later.
After he was arrested at the Dusit Thani Hotel in Pattaya in 2014, Galdelli allegedly bribed prison guards with 20.000 Thai Baht, or about $638, to let him go. According to police, Galdelli even withdrew the cash from an ATM while in custody.
He and Goffi are currently being detained at the Immigration Bureau in Pattaya and are awaiting extradition proceedings.
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