A fraudster faces jail for conning a millionairess he met on dating app Tinder into handing him £141,000.
Richard Dexter conned Amrita Sedan out of the large amount by pretending to be an entrepreneur and telling her that he had a “big win” after buying the patents on valuable biopharmaceutical tech.
According to the 38-year old, his victim was interested in a deal with major multinational corporations.
Prosecutors say that Miss Sebastian, an executive based in the Middle East, then handed over a series of payments totalling £141,000, believing that they were investments.
Dexter kept the cash and came up with a variety of strange excuses to why he couldn’t repay her.
Miss Sebastian then called the police and a jury from Portsmouth Crown Court was heard.
When officers raided Dexter’s Hampshire home, they found a document which claimed he had more than £4million invested with financial services company Hargreaves Lansdown. The court heard that this was an alleged ‘total fabrication’. It was actually a document that claimed Dexter had more than PS4million invested with Hargreaves Lansdown. However, the final balance of the account was only 37p.
Dexter pleaded guilty previously to seven fraud charges but denied forging patent documents or perverting justice to try to “wheedle out” of the alleged fraud.
He stated that he only’redacted’ and not “forged” the document. Furthermore, he claimed that he did not intend to fraudulently use any document he has in his possession.
Dexter was found guilty by the Portsmouth Crown Court jury after three hours of deliberation.
Richard Dexter faces jail for conning a millionairess he met on dating app Tinder into handing him £141,000
He tricked Amrita Sebastian out of the huge sum by posing as a successful businessman and telling her he was on the verge of a ‘big windfall’ after acquiring the patents to valuable biopharmaceutical technology, a court heard
Two-year-old father, wearing a grey suit with gold tie, looked at his wife and gazed down as the verdict was delivered.
Dexter was addressed by Judge Timothy Mousley, QC. He said jail was “inevitable”.
He stated to defendant, “The offenses to which you pleaded guilty are sufficient for an immediate custodial sentence at some length. The sentences that you were convicted by the jury will increase the sentence.”
Dexter was given bail by Judge Mousley but must be in his Southsea house, Hampshire, between 6pm and 6am. It is forbidden for him to apply internationally for travel documents.
Robert Bryan (prosecutor) told jurors that Miss Sebastian had met Dexter through Tinder in 2015. According to Bryan, he claimed that he was a successful businessman who sells biopharmaceutical software.
Dexter convinced Miss Sebastian who lives in Dubai and travels twice a year to the UK, that he required capital to produce a piece scientific equipment.
At first she invested £40,000, then £68,000 two months later, having been assured that he could cover any losses she might make.
Bryan claimed that the central part of Bryan’s fraud was patents, and a patent catalog which he said he was buying.
“After claiming that he had obtained these patents, he stated that well-known corporations such as Pall Corp or 3M were interested to license the patents. This would result in substantial sums.
“All that was needed was capital upfront to start production of the Bioreactor Paddle. She had invested. In the months that followed, he stated that he would need additional money to help others. He assured her she would not lose anything, as he still had enough money to cover her investment losses. She was concerned that she had invested too much. He told her that he still has enough money to replace the remaining balance, and she agreed.
Dexter pleaded guilty previously to seven fraud charges but denied forging patent documents or perverting justice to try to “wheedle out” of the alleged fraud. Dexter claimed that he only’redacted” and not ‘forged the document, but claimed he didn’t intend to use any fraudulent documents in his possession for defrauding anyone. After three hours of deliberation, jurors found Dexter guilty on both counts.
A jury from Portsmouth Crown Court convicted Dexter (stock photo)
The jury was told that Miss Sebastian paid him again to “protect” the original investments, with the promise of an “important windfall”.
Bryan added: “Towards the end 2016, he promised her that, by January 2017, he would pay her entire investment back. On that basis, she lent him the final £5,500 as he was in dire financial straits heading towards Christmas. He promised that he would pay her £100,000 as interest.’
Dexter claimed Miss Sebastian had received nothing, and that Dexter had given her the excuse that his bank had close his account.
After they agreed Dexter would repay her £141,500 by April 2017 which would settle the debt ‘in full’, he never replied and the money did not arrive, a jury heard.
The police were called to assist Miss Sebastian.
Dexter was arrested in April 2018 by officers at his Waterlooville house. They discovered a Hargreaves-Lansdown financial document in a bedside drawer that they believed to be authentic. According to the jury, the most recent real investment report revealed that the account was owned by a friend and had only 37p before closing.
‘Why doctor an investment report belonging to another to show you have £4 million?’ Mr Bryan challenged the jury.
His fraud pleas could be a good source of information. Mr Dexter does not have, nor has he had an account with Hargreaves Lansdown let alone one containing over £4million.’
According to the court, his ex-partner Maisie Evans gave police USB sticks in December 2018. These contained “licensing arrangements” that purported to be related to patents.
A court heard that the UK Intellectual Property Office had not found any evidence suggesting the patent in question was ‘genuine.
The court also heard that they were created shortly after the first arrest of him by police.
Dexter said Miss Evans made the documents in order to “frame” him.
But Mr Bryan said to the jury that even if the documents were created by her, it was still him who tried to pretend they were genuine. [the documents]These were made post-interview [with the police].
“The evidence is clear that he created these documents in order to benefit himself and it’s a clear attempt at perverting the course of justice.
“He accepts now that he deceived Amirta Sebastian. He denied the fraud offense in summer 2018. This document supports the false denial.
“These were made to back up the count of denial. Because he now pleaded guilty, it is important that he denies the claim of straw or house cards.
Dexter plead guilty to 7 counts of fraud but was not guilty to 1 count of possessing an item used in fraud or perverting the course justice.
Dexter claimed that he was forced to plead guilty to seven of the charges during the trial.
On December 23, he will be sentenced.