A fraudster swindled tens of thousands of pounds from a man after asking him for money to pay for cancer treatment and to secure the release of his friend from prison.
Dean Badder committed the frauds between January 2016 and January 2018 after forming a friendship with the victim.
The 52-year-old told the man, in January 2018, that a named friend needed £10,000 in order to be released from jail.
The victim, who had never met or spoken to Badder’s friend but believed he had been in regular contact with him on social media, handed over the cash to Badder.
Police carried out a full search of all intelligence systems, including prison systems, in relation to Badder’s friend and no records could be found of him.
Enquiries were also carried out relating to a social media account registered in his name.
It was established that several Internet Protocol (IP) addresses used to make contact with the victim were linked to an address in Carlton where Badder had lived – and where he was living when he was arrested on January 28, 2018.
When the victim was interviewed by police he also told them that he had previously given money to Badder to pay for his treatment after he had told him he had been diagnosed with cancer.
Badder, of Swindale Close, Gamston, went on to plead guilty to two charges of fraud and one charge of blackmail – relating to a photo sent to the victim and threats thereafter.
He was sentenced to four years nine months when he appeared at Nottingham Crown Court for sentencing on Wednesday (29 June 2022).
Detective Constable Musson, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “Badder had no regard whatsoever for the impact his actions had on the victim.
“He went to great lengths to gain his trust, fabricating stories to exploit him out of thousands.
“Romance fraud is a particularly callous crime that targets the most vulnerable in society.
“Victims are often left completely devastated at both the financial and emotional impact of this crime, so much so that they are apprehensive about speaking to others about it.
“We would urge anyone going through a similar scenario to contact the police. Don’t be embarrassed to tell us what you are going through.
“We can help and support you if you are going through a rough time and we are happy to be contacted for support and advice.”