An accountant who cheated his internet girlfriend out of £4,300 by claiming he was dying from stomach cancer has received a suspended prison sentence
Badal Arun Hindocha, 34, an accountancy graduate employed by a Canary Wharf firm, told Tina Mistry, who he had met on an online dating site, he had lost income after missing work to attend hospital appointments due to his cancer diagnosis.
Mistry made a number of bank transfers to Hindocha over a period of months, but then realised she had been duped when she saw he was active again on internet dating sites.
In another twist, Hindocha, who said he had a master’s degree from Middlesex University, also claimed to be ACCA qualified but a spokesperson at the institute said that he had never been a member of the professional body.
‘You have taken advantage of her trust that you were genuinely ill and had even witnessed your cousin dying, and you had a terminal illness and over six weeks caused her to make 11 bank transfers to you.
‘You even engaged someone else to tell her you were on medical life-support and she should not contact you again.
‘She must have been wondering if you were dead or alive, but then saw you were back on that dating website.
‘She thought it was a genuine romance and you committed a fraud on her vulnerability and trust.’
Prosecutor Iestyn Morgan told the court the pair began dating in December 2017.
He continued: ‘After two months the defendant said he was off work due to medical operations and was short of money and struggling to meet bills.
“He told her he was very weak and ill, and that he had stomach cancer, which was not true.’
His lawyer, Imran Khan said the money was spent on installing a downstairs toilet for his disabled parents.
Hindocha pleaded guilty to fraud between December 2017 and March 2018, and was sentenced to nine months’ imprisonment, suspended for 18 months. He was also given 280 hours of community service and was told to pay Mistry £6,000 in compensation.
Additional reporting Sara White