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Tinder Fraudster Jailed For Conning Victim Out Of Nearly £150,000

Rebecca Shepherd

| Last updated 

Tinder Fraudster Jailed For Conning Victim Out Of Nearly £150,000

A Tinder fraudster has been locked up after conning a millionairess that he met on the dating app.

Richard Dexter has been jailed for four and a half years after he managed to convince a woman into handing him almost £150,000 ($203k) to fund his 'high living'.

Richard Dexter. Credit: Solent News
Richard Dexter. Credit: Solent News

The suave conman boasted of being worth £6.8 million ($9.2m), having 'private jets', being 'involved in Hollywood studios', and buying a hot air balloon 'just because he could' after meeting victim Amrita Sebastian.

Dexter told Miss Sebastian he was on the verge of a 'big windfall' due to investments in biopharmaceutical technology.

Miss Sebastian - a Middle East-based executive - ended up sending him £141,500 ($192k) in a series of payments, even while she was poorly in hospital.

He said he had more than £4.2 million tied up in an investment account - but it was a 'complete fiction' and it was his friend's account and had just 37p in.

The father of two spent Miss Sebastian's money on 'relatively high living' - including paying £15,000 to a classic car company - and has never apologised.

Now, the 38-year-old has been jailed for four years and six months - with Judge Timothy Mousley QC branding him 'profoundly dishonest'.

Portsmouth Crown Court. Credit: Solent News
Portsmouth Crown Court. Credit: Solent News

In one text to Miss Sebastian, Dexter said: "Hey! I'm 32, most of my friends did uni and have debts and worries and all earn £40,000 to £60,000. I bought a hot air balloon yesterday just because I could."

Miss Sebastian, who travels to the UK twice a year from Dubai, met with Dexter in August 2015.

Dexter persuaded Miss Sebastian that he needed capital to start production of a piece of scientific equipment - a 'Bioreactor Paddle'.

He told Miss Sebastian 'she wouldn't lose anything' and that he would pay her £100,000 as interest.

Over the course of 15 months, she made a series of payments, some as large as £68,000.

By the end of 2016, when his finances were in 'dire straits', Dexter convinced her to send him the final £5,500.

When Miss Sebastian pleaded to have her investments returned, Dexter lied that he had 'closed a deal with 3M for £3.6 million' and that Miss Sebastian was entitled to £1.8 million as he tried to keep her onside.

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

Dexter's home was raided by police in April 2018 after Miss Sebastian reported the fraud.

Later, his grandmother told the court he would regularly ask her to transfer him £10 because his 'card wasn't working'.

Dexter - who maintains he has 'just over £200,000 in cryptocurrency assets' - admitted seven counts of fraud relating to swindling £141,500 from Miss Sebastian.

John Lucas, defending, asked Judge Mousley QC for 'mercy' and not to jail Dexter as he is 'likeable and a very good father'.

Mr Lucas added: "He was in debt, he had debts to close friends. He got himself into a pickle and was investing Bitcoin unsuccessfully.

"This man will not offend again... He's charming and dresses well... He's a well-educated young man who made a big error of judgement."

Credit: Solent News
Credit: Solent News

Dexter, who sobbed during the two-hour and 15 minute hearing, told the court: "I haven't been able to put into words what I would say to [Miss Sebastian] if she was here.

"[I have not] had any courage to contact her or put it onto paper, but I'm very, very sorry to the point that I think about it every day, from the minute I wake up until I go to sleep."

Sentencing Dexter, Judge Mousley QC said: "I'm left in no doubt that dishonesty is a feature of your character and it is profound.

"You are someone who shows no hesitation in resorting to lies with an ease that is almost breathtaking.

"There was absolutely no sign of you apologising to [Miss Sebastian] and there's little sign of any remorse.

"What you did affected her mental health and you have never spared a thought for her."

A hearing to determine how money is paid back has been set for 7 April.

Featured Image Credit: Solent News

Topics: News, UK News, Tinder, Crime

Rebecca Shepherd
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