Serial romance fraudster jailed for seven years after swindling more than £300,000 from four women

Credit: Cheshire Police

A fraudster who conned four women out of more than £300,000 has been jailed for seven years.

Cieran McNamara was leading a lavish lifestyle, travelling on first class trains and planes, and staying in five star hotels before he was caught by Cheshire Police.

The 37-year-old who's from Coventry, who also uses the names Ciaran Griffin, Christian McNamara and Myles McNamara, appeared a Chester Crown Court on Tuesday.

He had previously pleaded guilty to four counts of fraud by false representation.

Cieran McNamara Credit: Cheshire Police

He lured women into his trap online and by visiting exclusive hotels, to prey on wealthy individuals. He would then start relationships with the women, convincing them that he was a successful businessman with a high value property portfolio across the UK.

He showed them pictures of him at mansions in London and Cheshire, 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 women didn’t know is that he was using money he had taken from other women to fund his lifestyle.

McNamara's LinkedIn display picture Credit: Cheshire Police

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.

McNamara managed to manipulate four women from Cheshire, Warwickshire and Hertfordshire to hand over £302,054.26 over the space of 12 months.

The woman from Cheshire realised what he was doing and reported her concerns to police. He was later arrested in Colchester last September.

Following his arrest, police officers raided a lock-up which was being rented by McNamara where they recovered £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.

He posed with Champagne bottles to continue the illusion of wealth Credit: Cheshire Police

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.”

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