Laurenitiu Paun cashes in on Charity by Selling Fake Big Issue Magazines for £100 Each in Oxford

February 7, 2024 - Reading time: 2 minutes

In a brazen act of deception that has stirred outrage and disbelief, Laurenitiu Paun a 34-year-old man was caught red-handed exploiting the goodwill of unsuspecting Oxford citizens by masquerading as a seller of the Big Issue magazine. This magazine, known for its noble cause of aiding homeless individuals and those on the brink of homelessness to secure a stable income, became the tool of exploitation for the scammer's fraudulent scheme.

The individual, whose identity has been withheld, ingeniously inflated the price of each magazine to a staggering £100, a far cry from its original price of £4, netting over £1,500 from his deceitful transactions. This act of audacity took place in the heart of Oxford City Centre, including areas like Botley Road, and even extended to High Wycombe and Loudwater, leaving a trail of deceit.

The scam was not just a one-off but a calculated operation running from January to April of the previous year. The man, previously ousted as a vendor by the Big Issue for undisclosed reasons, continued his rogue sales undeterred, exploiting the trust and compassion of the public towards the less fortunate.

Upon his arrest, the court did not take his actions lightly, sentencing him to a community order that includes 100 hours of unpaid work and levying a fine against him. Additionally, he is mandated to compensate his victims, symbolizing a modicum of justice for his unscrupulous actions.

Catherine Parsons, a leading figure at the Big Issue, expressed the organization's stern stance on such violations, emphasizing the betrayal of trust and the potential harm to the magazine's mission. The Big Issue promptly banned the fraudster from ever vending their magazines again, underlining their commitment to integrity and the well-being of their genuine vendors.

The public is urged to remain vigilant, ensuring they purchase the magazine from authorized vendors, easily identifiable by their valid badges and distinctive red tabards, safeguarding against such deceit.

This story not only sheds light on the cunning lengths individuals may go to exploit charity but also serves as a stark reminder to support legitimate vendors, whose efforts to rebuild their lives are genuine and deserving of every ounce of our support and kindness.

DW Staff

David Lintott is the Editor-in-Chief, leading our team of talented freelance journalists. He specializes in covering culture, sport, and society. Originally from the decaying seaside town of Eastbourne, he attributes his insightful world-weariness to his roots in this unique setting.