Tech scammer conned millionairess into handing him £141k for ‘patent’
A fraudster posing as a successful businessman conned a millionairess he met on Tinder out of almost £150,000.
Richard Dexter, 37, promised Amrita Sebastian that he was on the verge of a ‘big windfall’ after telling her he had acquired the patents to valuable biopharmaceutical technology.
On the back of his lies, Ms Sebastian — a Middle East-based executive — handed over a series of payments totalling £141,000, believing they were investments.
He told her major multi-nationals — including US medical firm 3M — were interested in signing a multimillion-pound deal with him.
But he never paid her back and she reported him to the police.
When officers raided Dexter’s home in Waterlooville, Hampshire, in April 2018 they found a document in his bedside cabinet which claimed he had more than £4million invested with the financial services company Hargreaves Lansdown.
But it was ‘partly falsified’ and the actual account belonged to a friend of his — with only 37p in it before it was closed, Portsmouth crown court heard.
Spooked by the raid, Dexter allegedly asked his then girlfriend, Maisie Evans, to hide USB memory sticks containing faked licensing agreements purporting to relate to the patent.
‘He told me he was worried that the police would raid our property again and that they would be seized,’ Ms Evans said. She told the court that she left Dexter, taking their daughter with her, when he was arrested in December 2018.
‘I was then contacted about the memory sticks by his friend and business partner, Hugh Affleck Graves,’ she said. But instead of handing them to him, Ms Evans gave them to Hampshire Police.
The court heard the Intellectual Property Office could not find anything to suggest the patent was ‘genuine’.
Dexter claims Ms Evans created the documents to ‘frame’ him. Dexter, now of Southsea, has admitted seven counts of fraud in relation to Ms Sebastian but denies one count of having an article used in fraud and of perverting the course of justice.
The trial continues.