Charming Tinder Swindler is Jailed for Conning Dubai-Based Millionairess Out of £150,000
by Chay Quinn
Feb 10, 2022
A charming fraudster has been jailed for over four years after conning a millionaire he met on Tinder out of £150,000.
Richard Dexter, 38, has been jailed for four years and six months after fraudulently claiming he was a ‘successful businessman’ on the verge of the a ‘big windfall’ to swindle his lover.
Dexter duped Middle East-based executive Amrita Sebastian into sending him £141,500 in a series of payments saying they were for investments in biopharmaceutical technology
He was even spinning his ‘fanciful’ lies while she was seriously ill in hospital.
‘Well-educated and well-dressed’ Dexter claimed 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.
He claimed international companies 3M and Pall Corp were interested in tech equipment he had the patents for and willing to sign on deals worth up to £12 million.
Pall and 3M have never had any contact with Dexter, the court heard.
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.
…Dexter’s partner, 37 year old Hayley Jones, wept and told the court her boyfriend of three and half years is a good father.
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.
‘When your truthfulness is challenged you reach for more lies to cover your tracks.’
…A court heard Dexter, of Southsea in Portsmouth, Hants, met Indian Miss Sebastian on Tinder in 2015 and posed as a businessman selling biopharma tech.
At Portsmouth Crown Court, prosecutor Robert Bryan said: ‘He claimed he was a successful businessman selling biopharma technology and he said he was worth £6.8 million and was involved in Hollywood studios.
‘He alluded to his immense wealth and private jets, expensive cars, and said he had more by way of interest in his investments than a doctor’s salary.’
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 of 2015.
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.
Miss Sebastian described him as ‘desperate’ for money, adding: ‘Because he had so much of my money already I felt trapped to keep him onside and I felt the £5,500 was a small loan.’
But she said she still perceived there was ‘no risk’.
Later, as 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.
Miss Sebastian ‘of course’ received nothing back, with Dexter giving her ‘excuses’ and ‘leading her along’.