A man has been sentenced to six years and one month in prison after he defrauded women he met online and pretended to be in a relationship with them.
Keyur Vyas, 32 of East Ferry Road, Tower Hamlets, was sentenced at Kingston Crown Court on Wednesday, 1 May.
An investigation into Vyas’s activities was launched in October 2014. He was found to be committing fraud against six different women.
Between 2014-2017 Vyas was a recruitment agent. He befriend women online with the pretence of building a relationship with them. He wined and dined them and would trick them into believing he was an affluent man working in finance and would use his commonalities such as religion and his wish to start a family.
Once he gained their trust Vyas would encourage them to invest in various business ventures for a large return. Only the ventures didn’t exist and he was gambling the money away. He even continued to put pressure and was abusive to the victims to continue to invest more money in order to get their money back. He used fear tactics and stated that if they went to the police they would lose all their money.
It was only when they didn’t receive their money back that the women began to report their concerns to police.
Vyas pleaded guilty to four counts of fraud by false representation in March 2019, the remaining two charges will lie on file. The total loss for all the charges is approximately £808,942.
Detective Constable Andy Chapman of the Central Specialist Command said: “Vyas used a tried and tested technique to commit fraud. He used the trust he had gained to get them to invest in non-existent companies.
“He went as far as having fake contracts drawn up with outlandish conditions, but essentially he used the relationship to get their money”.
“Vyas was selfish and cruel in his actions by emotionally involving the victims and conning them out of a combined loss of approximately £639,133.00.
“Unfortunately we see cases like this fairly often and my advice to anyone in an online relationship whatever the nature is never to send personal details or money to someone who you have never met in person