A chartered accountant lied to his internet girlfriend that he was dying from cancer to swindle her out of £4,300.
Badal Arun Hindocha, 34, told Tina Mistry he had missed work because of hospital appointments and needed money, sending her messages saying: “If I don’t solve this problem, I’m dead.”
Ms Mistry made a string of bank transfers to Hindocha after falling for his lies and believing they were in a “genuine romance”, Croydon crown court heard.
Hindocha claimed he had been diagnosed with stomach cancer and once the money had been paid he got a friend to say he was on life support in hospital, telling Ms Mistry not to try to contact him again.
However, she later spotted him back on the same internet dating website where they had first met.
Hindocha admitted fraud between December 2017 and March 2018 and was sentenced to nine months in prison suspended for 18 months. Ordering him to pay Ms Mistry £6,000 in compensation, Judge Elizabeth Smaller told Hindocha: “She thought it was a genuine romance and you committed fraud on her trust.”
Prosecutor Iestyn Morgan told the court Hindocha and Ms Mistry had started dating in December 2017 after meeting online. “After two months, the defendant said he was off work due to operations and short of money,” Mr Morgan said. “He told her he had stomach cancer, which was not true.”
Ms Mistry made 11 bank transfers to Hindocha over three months, until being told not to contact him again.
She told the police: “It has made me upset that I had been used and taken advantage of. I did not think he could lie that he had cancer.”
Imran Khan, representing Hindocha, said the money had been used to install a downstairs toilet at his disabled parents’ home.
He lost his job and has been stripped of his professional accreditation because of the fraud.