If you’re going to pose as a celebrity, you could do worse than George Clooney, a reportedly nice man with a nice face and an incredible wife. If you’re going to pose as a celebrity to scam people into buying fake clothes from your fake clothing line, though, it is possible you will get into some trouble. This is something to consider.
Take, for instance, the curious case of Francesco Galdelli and Vanja Goffi, an Italian duo who were arrested in Thailand on Saturday for allegedly using Clooney’s name to promote their fake business. According to the Bangkok Post, Galdelli had been claiming to be George Clooney to get people to invest in a fake clothing company, allegedly managing to grift about 40 million Thai baht, or $1.3 million.
The couple is also allegedly wanted in Italy for selling fake Rolexes online, occasionally sending buyers packets of salt instead of watches, according to Agence France-Presse.
Incredibly, Galdelli and Goffi have been at this for years—indeed, in 2010 Clooney testified against them in court when he discovered they were using Photoshopped pictures of him to promote their fake George Clooney fashion line. They were sentenced to three years in prison in Italy, alongside a third accomplice.
Galdelli and Goffi fled that sentence in 2012 and landed in Thailand in 2014, where it appears they continued to keep up the grift. As the old saying goes: if you don’t succeed in scamming, scam, scam again. Perhaps the eventual third time’s the charm?