A British man found guilty of using online dating sites to con wealthy women out of over £180,000 has been ordered to pay back most of the money he stole from his victims.
Last year, 50-year-old Matthew Samuels from Worcester was sentenced to eight years in prison, after he used dating sites MatchAffinity.com and Zoosk to deceive five female victims.
He used the stolen money in order to fund his “flamboyant lifestyle”, which involved splashing out on expensive cars that he would pick up his dates in.
Two days ago, a judge ordered Samuels to pay back £105,000 of the money he took within three months, or face an additional two years on top of his original sentence.
Peter Grice told a proceeds of crime hearing that the money was with police, and will be shared among his five victims as compensation, as well as the Nationwide building society.
Last October, the father-of-ten appeared in front of Worcester Crown Court and was found guilty of eight counts of fraud, and not guilty of two counts of fraud.
He was also sentenced to an additional three months in prison for impersonating a barrister, to which he pleaded guilty in December 2014.
Speaking at the 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.
During the hearing on Monday, Judge Nicholas Cartwright ordered that the confiscated cash must be handed over by 28th May.
Find out more about the case here.