A man has been jailed for fraud by false representation after cheating many women in the past seven years.
The Harrow crown court sentenced Vimal Popat, 41, of Salt Hill Drive, Slough on Thursday (24) to four years and four months’ imprisonment for nine offences. The sentences will run concurrently.
According to the Metropolitan Police his offences, started in 2013, are believed to have totalled £440,824.50.
Six of the eight victims of Popat were female, and four of them were convinced that they were in a romantic relationship.
Popat met his victims on online dating sites such as Bumble. He typically forms ‘romantic relationships’ with them in person. After gaining their trust, he would persuade them to invest their money in a non-existent business, police said.
He made them believe that he was a successful Forex trader and promised healthy profits from the business through trading. When the victims transfer the money into one of Popat’s bank accounts, he used it to fund his lifestyle or gamble.
He also created false banking documents to show that he had a wealthy accounts balance.
Besides, romance based offences, Popat also cheated relatives, a former work colleague and a former neighbour by giving empty promises of financial profit, said the police.
He took more than £300,000 from a relative and police believe that there may be more victims who have not yet come forward.
In 2019, he duped four victims.
Popat was arrested by officers from the economic crime unit based at Hendon on March 5.
“So often victims of this type of offence don’t come forward, embarrassed by their own naivety, but fraudsters such as Popat work hard on their back story and are incredibly convincing in the telling of their tales,” said detective constable Chris Collins.
“I commend the victims in this case for coming forward. Their actions have put a stop to Popat’s crimes and have no doubt spared others from falling victim to his schemes.”