Southsea conman who took £140,000 from Tinder-match millionairess 'asked his girlfriend to hide memory sticks containing fake documents', court hears
A fraudster who conned a millionairess he met on Tinder into handing him almost £150,000 asked his girlfriend to hide computer memory sticks containing faked documents from the police, a court heard.
Richard Dexter posed as a ‘successful businessman’ to convince victim Amrita Sebastian to hand over £141,000 which he said would be invested in medical technology that would lead to multi-million pound deals.
But the 37-year-old never paid her back and the Middle East-based executive reported him to the police.
When officers raided Dexter's home in Waterlooville, in April 2018 they found a document in his bedside cabinet which claimed he had more than £4m invested with the financial services company Hargreaves Lansdown.
The jury was told it was ‘partly falsified’ and the actual account belonged to a friend of his and only had 37p in it before it was closed.
Portsmouth Crown Court heard the raid spooked Dexter.
He asked his then girlfriend, Maisie Evans, to hide the USB memory sticks containing falsified ‘licensing agreements’ purporting to relate to a patent in case the police knocked on their door again, the court heard.
Miss Evans said: ‘He told me he was worried that the police would raid our property again and that they would be seized.
‘We thought about where we could hide them and I suggested that we hid them in a craft box because I thought if someone were looking for something important, they would assume that there was nothing important in there.’
Miss Evans told a jury that she left Dexter along with his daughter for Bristol when he was arrested in December 2018.
She continued: ‘I fled the relationship with my daughter and as many of my possessions as possible while Dexter was in custody.
‘I took the craft box and was then contacted about the memory sticks by Dexter's friend and business partner, Hugh Affleck Graves.’
But instead of giving them to him, Miss Evans handed them into Hampshire Constabulary, the court heard.
Dexter now is accused of forging patent documents to try to 'wheedle out' of his alleged fraud, prosecutors said.
‘Why doctor an investment report belonging to another to show you have £4 million?’ Robert Bryan asked the jury. ‘His fraud pleas may well inform you.
‘Mr Dexter does not have, nor has he had an account with Hargreaves Lansdown let alone one containing over £4 million.’
The court heard the UK's Intellectual Property Office could not find anything to suggest the patent referred to in the agreement was 'genuine'.
And the court heard they appeared to have been created after he had been first arrested by police.
Dexter now claims Miss Evans created the documents to ‘frame’ him.
Dexter, now of Southsea, has admitted conning Miss Sebastian and pleaded guilty to seven counts of fraud.
But he denies one count of possessing an article used in fraud and to one count of perverting the course of justice.