A man who pretended to be high powered wealthy businessman to defraud a woman out of £49,000 has been sentenced.
The 29-year-old, of no fixed address, was sentenced today to two years and three months in prison.
He had pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud at Isleworth Crown Court and was sentenced at the same venue.
The court heard that, in February 2016, the victim had been renting properties. She was contacted by the man, who over the course of the next few weeks represented himself as a high-powered wealthy businessman.
He attempted to persuade her that he was a successful technology entrepreneur and successful investor.
On or around the weekend of 27 to 28 February 2016 he attended the victim's home address unannounced, he then proceeded to tell her that he had invested a sum of money on her behalf in shares and that she should pay him for them.
The victim told him she did not want anything to do with the purchase, but he demanded she pay him for the investments.
He left and then in the following days he attempted to get the victim to pay him for the shares and provided false documents to her, showing that the investments had initially increased in value.
In early March 2016 the victim felt she had no option but to pay for the investments, even though she never authorised them, so she transferred £20,000 to him.
Not content with his illicit gains, he preyed on the victim further by falsely representing his links with a non-existent firm of solicitors. Police say he convinced the already vulnerable victim to pay approximately £29,000 in fees for services he had not provided in relation to an unrelated legal dispute.
The man continued to apply pressure and deceive the victim and eventually he was able to persuade her to hand over various sums of money that totaled £49,000.
Eventually the victim realised that all the investments and the legal firm were fake and she had been deceived and informed police of the fraud.
He was arrested and charged with two counts of fraud.
DC Dylan Enright from Westminster CID said: "His lies have been exposed, and his custodial sentence reflects the serious nature of this offending. I would urge any victims of fraud not to hesitate, but call police and report the crime."