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Fraudster Lee Farline scammed women he met on dating websites | #DatingScams | #LoveScams | #RomanceScans


Between them, the four lost just over £30,000 as a result of their relationships with Lee Farline, said Gabrielle Wilks, prosecuting.

The 47-year-old North Yorkshire fraudster befriended them and when they had financial difficulties or needed money, he lied to them that he was a successful financial businessman who could invest their money and double it in a short period of time.

In reality he didn’t invest a penny of the funds they gave him and spent the money on himself including a £1,400 holiday.

Between them, the four women lost accommodation, a job, an inheritance from their mother, or had to enter a years-long debt repayment arrangement. They now struggle to trust anyone.

In a personal statement, one said: “I saw him as a friend. He took away the only thing I had left from my mother. To say I was devastated is an understatement.”

Another said: “I never thought he would be so dishonest.”

Farline, of Station Drive, Ripon, pleaded guilty to seven charges of fraud by false representation totalling £25,000.

“This was money the ladies could ill afford,” Judge Deborah Sherwin told him at York Crown Court.

“These offences are of such a nature and extent only an immediate custodial sentence could be justified,” she said.

She jailed him for 32 months. Farline faces compensation proceedings later this year.

For him, Peter Minnikin said Farline had been in a state of self-loathing and low self esteem at the time because of the effects of childhood abuse and police investigation into his abuser.

He had been comfort eating and now had thyroid problems.

He had wanted to be liked and to portray himself as a successful person and was remorseful for his actions.

The solicitor advocate said: “He knows he has these demons in his background that need to be resolved.”

Members of his family would suffer if he was jailed. He wanted to repay the money and had already started to pay small amounts.

Ms Wilks said one woman told police Farline had only started to repay her after police became involved.

Farline carried out the scams between December 1, 2018, and April 1, 2020. He met two of the women through dating websites.

One of them needed money for a small catering business she was setting up and another was living on benefits when he persuaded them to let him have their money.

One he persuaded to hand over money with false claims that his internet was broken and other household emergencies.

When they tried to get their money back, he came up with a long list of excuses including claiming he was stuck in Hong Kong by the Covid lockdown.

Mr Minnikin said Farline had some savings but no other assets.





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