LOWELL -- Dracut police allege a Lowell woman was bilked out of $7,000 by a friend after she gave him cash to buy a used car to resell.
The 53-year-old victim alleges in court documents that in July 2012, she and her friend, Daniel Gilday, made plans for Gilday to buy a car from a "down-on-his-luck" friend for $10,000 and then resell it for $14,000, splitting the profit after the woman got her initial $7,000 investment back.
The woman told police she provided the cash, but Gilday never produced a car or an explanation. She hasn't been able to reach him since.
In Lowell District Court on Thursday, Gilday, 59, of 55 Willard St., Lowell, was released on personal recognizance after pleading not guilty to a single charge of larceny over $250 by false pretense. He was ordered to stay away from and have no contact with the victim.
While prosecutors didn't seek bail, they did note Gilday's past federal conviction.
In 1997, Gilday, then a UPS driver, stole a package with an FBI tracking device in it. He cut a deal with federal prosecutors to serve 15 months in prison for his role in stealing computer equipment from the Chelmsford UPS facility, according to published reports.
In the car deal, Dracut police allege the victim has provided proof via bank documents that show she made the withdrawals.
When police spoke to Gilday, who worked for a Tewksbury car dealership at the time, he indicated he knew the victim because he had sold her several cars over the past 10 years. He told police she was a nice lady, but called her "crazy."
Gilday told police the victim wanted to buy a $5,000 car for her nephew. He told police the victim repeatedly showed up at the car dealership whether he was working. He denied agreeing to buy a car together and denied taking any money from her.
During the interview with police, Gilday seemed excited and kept mentioning well-known politicians, whom he referred to as his friends, according to court documents.
Gilday alleged the victim wanted him to "go after" her ex-husband and that she was willing to pay, court documents state. Then he told police he thought the victim was "setting him up" and wondered if she had been wearing a wire, according to court documents.
His next court date is a pretrial conference May 15.
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