Serial romance fraudster jailed after defrauding more than £300,000 from four women
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A man who swindled more than £300,000 from four women across the UK has been jailed.
Cieran McNamara, who also uses the names Ciaran Griffin, Christian McNamara and Myles McNamara, appeared a Chester Crown Court on Tuesday 6 February where he was sentenced to 7 years.
The 37-year-old, from Coventry, had previously pleaded guilty to four counts of fraud by false representation.
The court heard that McNamara was leading a lavish lifestyle, travelling across the UK in first class on trains, planes and in 5* hotels.
He met his victims through a variety of different methods. On some occasions he met them online, while on others he would visit exclusive hotels and clubs, with the overall aim of praying on wealthy individuals to manipulate for his own gain.
After carefully selecting his victims, he would start relationships with the women, convincing them that he was a successful businessman with a high value property portfolio across the UK.
To help convince the women of his wealth, he showed them images of him at mansions in London and Cheshire to substantiate his account, as well as pictures of him travelling first class across the world. He would also flood the women with gifts, weekends away and take them out for expensive meals.
However, what the victims didn’t know is that he was using money he had taken from other women to fund his lifestyle.
After convincing his victims that they were in a loving relationship, he would create a fake crisis, claiming that he was having issues with his banking and needed to borrow money, which he said he would repay as soon as possible.
If any of the women questioned his motives, he would turn it on them and blame them for doubting him.
In total, between 1 September 2022 and 25 September 2023, McNamara managed to manipulate his four victims in Cheshire, Warwickshire and Hertfordshire to hand over £302,054.26.
His downfall came after his victim in Cheshire realised what he was doing and reported her concerns to police.
An investigation was launched by detectives from the Cheshire Constabulary Economic Crime Unit which resulted in McNarama's arrest in Colchester on Thursday 28 September.
He was subsequently charged with four counts of fraud by false representation.
Following his arrested officers have since raided a lock-up which was being rented by McNamara where they recovered approximately £19,500 worth of brand new goods – including a £1,900 Burberry Coat, a £400 Burberry Scarf, Dubarry boots, Gucci trainers and a Ping golf set.
Enquiries to locate other assets belonging to him remain ongoing and all the items recovered will be subject to a proceeds of crime hearing.
Detective Constable Victoria Hazlewood, who led the investigation, said;
“McNamara is a serial fraudster, and I truly believe that he cannot tell the difference between reality and fantasy.
“During our investigation, we uncovered a web of lies with thousands of text messages which he sent to his victims in order to extort cash to fund his lavish lifestyle.
“He convinced his victims that he was a millionaire with properties across the country, but in reality, he was unemployed and living out of suitcase.
“McNamara identified ways he could control and manipulate his victims and throughout the investigation, he has shown no remorse for his actions. He truly believed that he would never be caught by police and that he would never be held accountable for his despicable behaviour.
“Thankfully, because of the courage and bravery of his victims, and the work of the team here in the Economic crime unit at Cheshire Constabulary, McNamara was left with no option other than to admit his guilt.
“While he is now behind bars, I have no doubt that there are other victims across the country who have been treated in the same way and I would encourage them to come forward.
“If you believe that you have been targeted by a Romance fraudster, or you believe somebody close to you has been targeted, then please contact Action Fraud so you can begin to get the necessary support and prevent other people from becoming victims.”