Lonely hearts ‘millionaire’ fraudster sent to prison

Matthew Samuels, who has been jailed for eight years for conning five women, including a woman from Lytham
Matthew Samuels, who has been jailed for eight years for conning five women, including a woman from Lytham
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A Bentley-driving lonely hearts fraudster who forged a Lytham woman’s signature as part of a car purchase scam has been jailed for eight years.

Car salesman Matthew Samuels conned five woman out of more than £200,000.

Sentencing Samuels for eight counts of fraud at Worcester Crown Court, Judge Michael Cullum told the father-of-10: “You blight the lives of everyone who has the misfortune to get to know you.

“You know, as the jury know, that everything that comes from you is a lie.

“You seem incapable of admitting lies and have persisted in what at times was a ridiculous defence, although eloquently presented.”

Judge Cullum imposed an indefinite restraining order banning Samuels, who denied the charges, from contacting his victims.

Samuels, 50, of Broadway Grove, Worcester, who shook his head at the first two guilty verdicts, told many of his victims that he was a multi-millionaire who was fluent in several languages.

He also falsely claimed to have cancer to inspire sympathy and invented an overseas property portfolio, while asking for “loans” to settle tax bills.

The 49-year-old Lytham woman said she “got on very well” with Samuels after meeting him through the Zoosk dating website and claimed he would “sort a car” for her in a 2014 finance deal.

But she said her signature on the subsequent hire purchase agreement was a copy.

The offences, committed between April 2011 and July this year, were described by Judge Cullum as “devious” deceptions with no thought for the emotional damage caused.

He told Samuels: “Your defence was cowardly - desperately and belatedly smearing the names of others.

“If you had accurately described yourself as a failure in life who had been bankrupt and who was a determined and habitual liar, they (the victims) probably would have run a mile.

“The certainly should have. You were devious and callous and - as now - without a shred of remorse.”

West Mercia Police said Samuels managed simultaneous relationships, sometimes seeing three women in one day, and used his job as a cover for absences from his partner’s home.

On other occasions, Samuels deployed aliases and falsely stated that he was a financial advisor or a knee surgeon.

Commenting after the case, Det Sgt Tim Powell of Hereford CID said: “I would particularly like to pay tribute to the women who have been defrauded by Samuels.

“They have shown great courage in speaking out about their experiences in order to bring this man to justice.

“In the end Samuels has been shown to be nothing more than a thief who would employ any lie to live a lifestyle funded by other people’s money.”