Thursday, 22 December 2016

Dating-Site Conwoman Sentenced For £56K Charity Scam

The notorious conwoman, who cheated three men she wooed via an online dating site out of over £56,000, has received a suspended prison sentence.

Neelam Desai, 36, of Beulah Grove, Croydon used a false photo and identity to pose as a charity fundraiser for homeless children during the sixteen-month scam.

She posed as a hospital pharmacist on the Asian dating site and never met the men, who thought the money was a charitable contribution for luxury foreign trips and bargain computers and phones.

At Croydon Crown Court Desai was sentenced to two years imprisonment, suspended for two years.

She must also complete 120 hours community service work.

The first victim says he was left feeling “suicidal” and “depressed” after losing approximately £36,000 and was forced out of business as his finances dipped.

The second man lost approximately £3,400 at the same time his mother was dying from cancer and asked in his victim impact statement: “Are these the actions of a decent human being?”

The third victim lost around £17,000 and complained of his “emotional and financial loss.”

Desai pleaded guilty to seven counts of fraud by false representation between December, 2012 and April 16, 2014.

Prosecutor Mr. Martin Goudie told the court that Desai posed as a pharmacist working at Chelsea & Westminster Hospital on dating site

She convinced the victims they could buy cut-price luxury electronic goods such as iPhones and iPads, which had been donated to her charity.

The men also financed discounted non-existent holidays to New York, Monte Carlo and Barbados.

The court agreed Desai has no assets after squandering all the money and a nominal £1.00 compensation order will be made on sentencing.

She never met any of the men face to face or properly identified herself. “The picture she provided on the internet was not a picture of her.” 

Desai received 30 months imprisonment for a £230,000 travel agency fraud in May, 2014 and was released on home curfew in April, 2015.

In February, 2010 received nine month suspended sentence for securing loans on her mother’s home behind her back.

Desai says she got involved with a man and together they lived a criminal lifestyle until her imprisonment.

She insists she has not offended since her release.

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