A fraudster who convinced three men on a dating website into sending her over £56,000 by pretending she was raising money for homeless children has been spared jail.


Neelam Desai, 36, a serial fraudster who was previously jailed for 30 months in 2014 for writing fraudulent cheques totalling £220,000, told her victims she did charity work raising money for homeless children and was able to sell cheap holidays and Apple products.

She conned her first victim, Hitesh Chauhan, out of £36,000 by promising him electrical goods and luxury holidays to New York and Monte Carlo.

Mr Chauhan became so distraught after realising he had been conned that he contemplated suicide.

Her second victim, Bharesh Rana, was caring for his mum who had been diagnosed with cancer when Desai conned him out of £3,400 for mobile phones, iPads and computers.

Desai had told Mr Rana that she was organising a charity event for homeless children and he agreed to purchase six iPhones, two MacBooks and other goods from her but did not receive the goods or his money back.

The third victim, Amar Kumar, was conned out of £17,000 in the scam after paying for trips abroad.

Susan Meek, representing Desai, said: ‘The bottom line is she committed fraud against three men and took money from them and she has to be prosecuted for that.’ The Asian Image reported.

“Whether she needs to be returned to prison or not is something your honour has to decide.

“Since her release in April 2015 it has been very difficult for her and in many respects it will simply be poor punishment for her, she knows she has been a fraudster.

“She is working and willing to pay compensation orders, she fully admits we guilt.

“She had a bag, she can go back to prison and wants me to beg you not to do that.”

Judge Charles said: “Those offences were committed over a period between December 12 and April 14.

“The amount involved is £56,000.

“On a dating website you convinced them to part with money for charitable events.

“You also claimed to be able to organise cut-price holidays and cut price electrical goods.

“Even when they became suspicious you kept trying to string them along.

“This case is so serious that only a custody sentence can be justified and the only sentence in this case is one of two years.

“It will be two years imprisonment suspended for two years.

“You will also do 120 community work.

“If you breach my order you will be coming back to this court and you will go straight to prison.”

Deborah Charles gave Desai two years imprisonment, suspended for two years, at Croydon Crown Court on Tuesday, December 20.

She was also ordered to repay her victims a total of £9,900.

Sources- Asian Image