Police arrest Italian convicted in George Clooney fraud case

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In this June 15, 2019 photo, Italian Francesco Galdeli, center, is detained by Thai police officers at a house near Pattaya, Chonburi. (Crime Suppression Division of Thailand via AP)
In this June 15, 2019 photo, Italian Francesco Galdeli, center, is detained by Thai police officers at a house near Pattaya, Chonburi. (Crime Suppression Division of Thailand via AP)

Bangkok (AP) — Thai police said they have arrested an Italian man wanted in his home country after he fled a jail sentence handed down for fraudulently using the name of actor George Clooney to lure people into investing in a bogus clothing company.

Thailand’s Crime Suppression Division said in a statement that Francesco Galdeli, 58, was arrested Saturday near Pattaya on suspicion of staying in the country illegally. Also arrested was his partner Vanja Goffi, 45, on suspicion of overstaying her visa.

An Interpol notice had been issued for Galdeli and he was arrested at an address provided by Italian authorities, Thai authorities said in their statement.

It was not immediately clear if the two had a lawyer.

Galdeli was sentenced by a Milan court in 2010 to more than eight years in jail after he was found guilty of impersonating Clooney to trick investors, police said.

Galdeli had lived in Thailand for around seven years, police said.