Hampshire Incidents

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Investment fraudster sentenced to 4 years and six months in jail after defrauding woman of £141,000

A Portsmouth man has been jailed for four years and six months after being found guilty of committing fraud and duping a woman whom he met on a dating app to invest in a number of non-existent biopharmaceutical technology schemes


Richard John Dexter, aged 38, of Highland Terrace, Southsea pleaded guilty at Portsmouth Crown Court to seven counts of fraud by false representation, one count of perverting the course of justice and one count of possessing an article for use in fraud – all of which occurred between 1 May 2015 and 24 May 2017.


Portsmouth Crown Court heard how Richard Dexter met the victim via a dating app in May 2015. He began striking up a close relationship with the woman, almost contacting her on a daily basis, ensuring that a trusting bond had been established very early on.


He claimed that he had been involved in a number of successful business and investment ventures in the biopharma sector and film industry and was seeking alternative investment opportunities.


The court then heard how Richard Dexter had manipulated and deceived the woman into making a number of high-value payments into his bank account over a period of 14 months, totalling £121,000. This was in order to purchase a number of patent catalogues and to pay an engineering company for the development of the mechanisms for a very specific piece of biopharmaceutical equipment.


While a further £20,000 was paid to Dexter for further equipment development and legal fees pertaining to the patents after a ‘series of delays and issues’ involved in the initial investment.


Over the next few months, the victim continued to engage with the fraudster and made numerous attempts to recoup the money she had invested. These were repeatedly rebuffed by Richard Dexter and provided her with a number of excuses as to why there were delays in the process.


The court also heard how Dexter delayed the initial investigation by providing fake and doctored documents to officers involved in the case, which hampered their efforts, and ultimately led to him being charged with perverting the course of justice.


Richard John Dexter, 38, of Highland Terrace, Southsea was sentenced on Thursday 10 February 2022. As a result he was given a custodial sentence of four years and six months.


Detective Constable, Victoria Cobley, of Hampshire Constabulary’s Northern Investigation team, said: “Today, with full support of the victim – despite being based abroad – an offender has been brought to justice and handed a substantial custodial sentence.


“This was a very complex investigation which highlighted the sophisticated, calculated and deceitful manner of Dexter’s actions in order to extract a substantial sum of money from the victim. This experience will have no doubt had an extraordinary impact on the victim from both a psychological and physical perspective – as well as the overall financial cost to the victim.


“While today’s sentencing will not allow the victim to regain the precious personal time and money that she invested in Dexter and his web of lies and deceit, we do hope that this goes some way to show that we take robust action against those who are deemed responsible for committing this terribly invasive crimes.


“In handing down a lengthy sentence, which reflects the nature and severity of his criminal activity, we hope that this will act as a future deterrent to those individuals looking to exploit vulnerable people who unfortunately fall victim to fraudulent investment schemes.”