Rugby 'professional fraudster' conned thousands out of woman he met on dating website - The Rugby Observer

Rugby 'professional fraudster' conned thousands out of woman he met on dating website

Editorial Correspondent 25th Nov, 2017 Updated: 27th Nov, 2017   0

A CONMAN from Rugby posed as a Crown Prosecution Service barrister when he began a relationship with a woman who he then tricked into letting him use her bank cards.

Cieran Griffin’s victim believed his story that his own cards had been frozen because he had been the victim of a fraud – when in fact it was she who was being defrauded by him.

And a judge at Warwick Crown Court heard that Griffin was already wanted on a warrant after failing to attend court over earlier offences.

The 31-year-old of George Street, Rugby was jailed for a total of two years and four months after pleading guilty to five charges of fraud.

The judge told him: “This sentence must have a deterrent effect, because you must be deterred from acting in this way again towards women with whom you form a relationship.”

Prosecutor Ian Windridge said in March 2015 Griffin approached the new accounts department at Jewson Ltd builders’ merchants for a trade account in the name of CGD Solutions.

He provided two references, and after CGD Solutions was given authorised credit, he spent thousands of pounds buying items and hiring equipment.

A Jewson account investigator went to George Street after cheques bounced and spoke to Griffin’s mother who said she knew nothing about any company operating from the address.

And when the investigator spoke to the people Griffin had given as references, they both denied having done so.

The police were contacted, and when he was arrested Griffin said he was unemployed – and answered ‘no comment’ to all further questions.

He was released while the police continued their enquiries, which revealed Jewson had lost £7,271 – and a warrant was issued for his arrest when he failed to attend court.

Mr Windridge said in September last year Griffin met a woman through a dating website, passing himself off as a barrister with the Crown Prosecution Service, although also claiming he practiced from chambers in London.

Griffin, who led her to believe he had a substantial income, began spending most nights during the week at her home in London, and raised the idea of them going on holiday together.

The victim gave him £350 towards a villa he said he had rented in Cyprus, and in November he told her he had been the victim of an online fraud, as a result of which his bank account had been frozen.

At his request, she lent him £300 – and a short while later he asked for more.

But she later found he had used her card to make cash withdrawals, pay for meals, train tickets and even online music purchases.

The victim asked him to stop using the card, but the transactions continued, and by the time she cancelled it she was out of pocket to the tune of £3,712 – although her bank has since refunded all but around £600 of that.

Mr Windridge added in 2014 Griffin had been jailed for 15 months for a similar offence against a woman he had met through a dating website.

Richard Baker, defending, conceded: “He has spent a lot of his adult life committing fraud. He does recognise that his offending behaviour must stop, and when he comes out he is young enough to start again.”

Jailing Griffin, Judge Andrew Lockhart QC told him: “You have five convictions for 15 offences. You are a professional fraudster.”

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