Three charged with fraud at Findlay freight company

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Three men will be arraigned today on charges they schemed to steal freight and money from Xpress Global Systems in Findlay.

According to an affidavit of probable cause filed by the Allegheny County District Attorney’s office, the investigation into the charges began in September 2011.

Mark Gaudio, 52, of Weirton, is charged with theft, theft by deception and conspiracy. Patrick Gaudio, 60, of Imperial and Kenneth McGray, 38, of Coraopolis, are charged with conspiracy and theft by deception.

Police said the director of safety and security for Xpress Global Systems suspected in September 2011 that freight was being stolen from the warehouse.

On Sept. 23, 2011, based on her suspicions, the director arranged to place a tracking device inside a 12-by-100 foot roll of carpeting, valued at more than $900.

When the company sent out an email trying to find the carpet a few days later, Mark Gaudio emailed twice and said on the phone that the roll of carpet was not at the Pittsburgh facility, even though the tracking device showed that it was. A short time later, the tracking device showed the carpet was moving.

A private investigator hired by the company followed the transmitter to the Home Depot store in West Mifflin, and police were called.

Investigators spoke with the man who had the carpet, and he said he bought it and two other rolls for rental properties he owned from Mark Gaudio for $1,200 cash, and that he’d known him for about a year.

The investigation further revealed, the affidavit said, that Mark Gaudio was altering payroll records to pay his brother Patrick Gaudio and Mr. McGray for hours they did not work, and that he would then split the money with them.

Other witnesses also said Mark Gaudio stole thousands of dollars worth of Polo items from delivery trucks, which his sister then sold on e-Bay, the affidavit said.

In an interview with XPress Global’s human resources director, the affidavit said, Mark Gaudio blamed the thefts on a gambling addiction, which resulted in him owing money to someone who threatened him.

The payroll records for the company’s Pittsburgh facility were maintained, the affidavit said, by Mark Gaudio.

Paula Reed Ward: or 412-263-2620.

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