A British man has been accused of using a dating site to con wealthy women out of over £180,000.
A UK court heard that 50-year-old Matthew Samuels used dating site MatchAffinity.com to swindle five female victims, in order to fund a “flamboyant lifestyle”.
The father-of-14 from Worcester approached the wealthy singles online, pretending to be “one of the richest men in the UK”.
A Worcester Crown Court heard that Samuels arrived at dates driving expensive cars he had hired, telling his dates he “rented properties to footballers”.
Samuels denied 11 counts of fraud and pocketing £180,000 between April 2011 to July this year.
Speaking at the court hearing, prosecutor Gareth Walters said: “He targets women from internet dating sites and would abuse their trust. In some cases left them in desperate financial straits.
“He has his own method of working that he uses, as you’ll hear time and time again. First, he targets women from internet dating sites.
“They’re often divorced, widowed or going through messy relationships. The females selected are wealthy, have come into money, or have a good credit rating.”
The jury also heard that Samuels had splashed out £7,932 hiring a Land Rover Sport, and a further £19,503 hiring an Audi R8 supercar to drive to his dates.
Evidence revealed that when the victims asked Samuel to pay back the borrowed money, he told “exaggerated” sob stories, including claiming he was suffering with cancer.
One of Samuels’ victims, Ms Bull, claimed the swindler had taken a sum of almost £12,000 from her, including £6,000 taken after he lied about a £46,000 unpaid business VAT.
The court also heard that when Ms Bull was away, Samuels let all 14 of his children stay at her home, ordering pizza on her card.
Despite his arrest last September, the trial continues.