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Police Nab Alleged Serial Café Scammer in Montreal

Numerous restaurants and cafés were targeted by a fake delivery driver

Coffee Beans. Roasted Getty Images

Montreal police arrested a 36-year-old man who they suspect was involved in some 70 fraud cases involving local restaurants and cafés.

Sean Magna was recently arrested on one count of “defrauding diverse business people and the public in general”, but is suspected of many more over a six-month period in 2017, according to police. Charges against Magna from 2017 have not yet been proven in court.

According to the Gazette, in these alleged fraud cases, a man would deliver coffee to various establishments that had not been ordered, and demand cash in exchange for the delivery. Gazette reporter Paul Cherry notes that the fake delivery man appeared to have rather notable “acting talents” — if employees questioned the delivery, the suspect would stage a phone call to the restaurant or café manager, and in some cases, he knew managers’ names.

Eater has spoken to at least one victim of such a scam. The individual said that the person pretending to be a delivery driver knew both the manager’s name and the colour of the envelopes that the café used for storing cash.

An image of Sean Magna

Magna has been in and out of the prison system before — according to the Gazette, some of the fraud instances happened while he was on conditional release from prison, meaning that if he is convicted, charges against him could result in a higher penalty.

A parole board decision from as far back as 2009 also says he violated a conditional release once before, for committing the same kind of fraud.