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Landlord admits trying to pay back deposit using fake notes

A private landlord who tried to pay back a tenant's deposit using counterfeit notes has been handed a 12month suspended jail sentence.

Joseph Mazzotta was arrested for using counterfeit £20 notes after trying to pay for petrol using one at local Tesco store last February.

A few days later, a former tenant of the 43-year-old told police that his deposit contained three fake £20 bills.

Police officers found another £240 worth of the fake cash notes at the father of one's home in Gorse Hill, Swindon.

The incident is the latest of many fake cash scams taking place in Wiltshire and could encourage local residents to be more attentive when receiving cash. Also, business owners in the area may want to consider using professional cash management services to help towards ensuring such incidents don't affect their bottom line.

According to, Mazzotta pleaded guilty on two counts of passing counterfeit money and one of possession, but maintained that both of the events had been accidental. Passing sentence was Judge Euan Ambrose, who accepted the defendant's remorse and spared him prison.

Two young men from nearby Melksham were recently jailed for similar offences. reports that 23-year-old Ben Maud and 22-year-old Samuel Bryant were given a year in prison for passing counterfeit money last October.

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