Lancashire

Schwimmer 'doppelganger' denies fraud and theft charges

Abdulah Husseini (left_ and David Schwimmer Image copyright Lancashire Police/PA
Image caption Police issued a new photo of Abdulah Husseini (left)

A "doppelganger" of Friends actor David Schwimmer has denied a string of fraud and theft offences.

Abdulah Husseini, 36, of Spencer Road, Slough, west London, appeared at Preston Crown Court via video link on Friday.

He giggled and put his hand over his mouth when Judge Beverley Lunt asked: "Is this the Ross from Friends case?"

Joe Allman, prosecuting, replied: "It is the one with the doppelganger, your honour."

Mr Husseini, from Tehran, pleaded not guilty to the theft of a wallet in Blackpool on 20 September last year.

He also denied five fraud offences by allegedly using or attempting to use a stolen Halifax bank card on 17 occasions in shops between 20 September and 5 November last year.

Image copyright David Schwimmer/Blackpool Police
Image caption An appeal by Lancashire Police went viral, fuelled by David Schwimmer's own take (shown on the left)

Social media users first pointed out the likeness of the defendant to Schwimmer's character Ross Geller in the popular US sitcom when police in Blackpool posted an image of a man leaving a restaurant and carrying what appeared to be a carton of beer cans.

Schwimmer later responded and posted a video on his Twitter account that showed him scurrying through a convenience store carrying a carton of beer before looking up furtively at a CCTV camera.

A trial date for the Blackpool theft and fraud offences was set for 4 July.

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