A victim of a so-called “romance fraud” has told ITV News how a serial conman wrecked her life and destroyed her faith in human nature.
Carol Goodall from West Sussex met Gary Rogers through an online dating site. He persuaded her to sell her home and share the money, but it was all an elaborate hoax.
Report by ITV News Meridian’s Malcolm Shaw:
First impressions can be highly misleading as Carol Goodall has found to her cost.
She met Gary Rogers through an online dating site. Soon he asked her to marry him and sell her home in Haywards Heath to buy another house together, but secretly he was stealing the money.
Carol Goodall, victim of ‘romance fraud’
Carol wasn’t the only victim.
Rogers – also known as Richard Robinson – was defrauding another woman at the same time. Eventually they found out about each other after Carol’s daughter grew suspicious and did her own research on the internet.
Kirsty Jopling, Carol’s daughter:
And then we realised he was leading a double life. He was telling me he was away at weekends because he was fixing boats but he wasn’t. He was with her.
At Hove Crown Court (06/07), the extent of Gary Rogers’ criminal activities was laid bare. He was described as a serial conman using a string of aliases over many years.
Detective Constable Noel Simmonds, Sussex Police:
The damage Rogers inflicted on Carol Goodall and her family has been immense. Not just costing their home but their trust in other people.
I haven’t got any faith in human nature anymore. I haven’t got it. I don’t trust anybody.