'˜Walter Mitty' fraudster conned two women out of £¼m on Muslim dating website

A 'MILLIONAIRE' fraudster from Bradford who conned two women out of nearly £250,000 after they met him on an Asian dating website was tonight beginning an eight-and-a-half year jail term.

Screengrab of the website used by Tahmoor Khan

Tahmoor Khan told one of his victims that he was worth £2m, and when she travelled to Bradford to meet him he picked her up in a Bentley.

Both of the women met the 32-year-old gambling addict via the singlemuslim.com website, but he took advantage of their hopes of finding love and marriage to swindle each of them out of more than £100,000.

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Bradford Crown Court heard today that feelings of shame and anxiety over what had happened to them led both women to think about suicide and one of them had made two attempts on her life.

Khan, of Bude Road, West Bowling, admitted two charges of fraud by false representation and his own barrister conceded that that at the time of the offending between 2009 and 2012 the defendant was living in a “”Walter Mitty world” of deception.

The court heard how Khan ran a firm called Azure Luxury Lifestyle and told his victims he hired out “prestige vehicles”, but the business never made enough money and he used their some of their cash to run up gambling debts of more than £80,000.

Prosecutor Simon Waley described how Khan told the women that his “assets” had been frozen by the authorities over money laundering allegations and said he would pay them back when he had access to the funds.

Mr Waley said Khan told one woman that he intended to find a wife and he wanted her to meet his mother.

At one stage Khan persuaded her to buy a expensive Land Rover for his use on hire purchase, but she later ended up having to spend £51,595 to buy the vehicle outright.

Over an 18-month period Khan conned her out of £116,000 and in her victim impact statement she said she felt ashamed that, as an intelligent woman, she allowed herself to be taken in by him.

Khan made similar false representations to a second woman who lost about £125,000 over a two-year period.

She recalled Khan telling her:”You’re my future wife and I love you. I’m going to pay you back.”

Khan spent two years in Pakistan after his own mother fell ill with cancer, but he was arrested by police at Manchester Airport in April 2015.

He accepted owing money to the women, but claimed he had not done anything criminal and it was a civil matter.

Last month he finally pleaded guilty to the two charges of fraud when his case was due for trial, but today/yesterday Judge Neil Davey QC said he was not convinced by Khan’s claim to feel remorse for actions.

Barrister Roderick Johnson QC, for Khan, said his client recognised that there was an element of greed involved in the offending and added:”He was obviously living in a Walter Mitty world of deception and self deception as well.”

He said Khan was addicted to gambling in casinos and that was a factor in offences taking place.

Judge Davey said both women had believed Khan and he had strung both of them along for years.

“Your skills in manipulation and deceit must have been very highly developed,” he told Khan.

The judge said Khan had extracted £241,000 from trusting and vulnerable women who would have been less likely to complain or seek help because of their cultural background and the fear of bringing shame on themselves sand their families.

He described one of the victim’s statements as making harrowing reading and the court heard how one of the women had lost her life savings to Khan.

Judge Davey said Khan had ruined the lives of the two complainants, in order to improve the quality of his own life.

After the hearing, Samantha Davidson, senior prosecutor at the Crown Prosecution Service, said: “Tahmoor Khan defrauded his victims of over £200,000. His intentions towards both women were calculated and dishonest from the outset.

“Having met them on an online dating site, he pursued both women at the same time, and led both to believe that he was a millionaire businessman who was serious in his intention to marry. He told them his assets had been temporarily frozen, and he urgently needed money. They believed and trusted him, and he utterly abused that trust.

“His actions have not only caused his victims tremendous financial loss, but also considerable anguish. I hope the sentence handed down today is of some comfort