A gambling addict has been jailed for eight-and-a-half years for conning two women out of £250,000, using fear, shame and cultural traditions as tactics to manipulate them.
Tahmoor Khan, 32, of Bradford, deceived his victims after meeting them through Britain’s most popular Muslim matrimonial site, SingleMuslim.com.
Khan was told by a judge his actions were underpinned by “sheer wickedness.”
Judge Neil Davey QC added: “In order to improve the quality of your own life, you have ruined theirs. You did so entirely cynically, entirely without shame and entirely without mercy.”
Bradford Crown Court heard Khan had built up £80,000 in debt through casino gambling. He fabricated his online and in-person profile, presenting himself as wealthy businessman to the two women he dated via the website.
Judge Davey told Khan the cultural background of his victims meant they could not share their suffering with others for fear of bringing dishonor upon themselves and their families.
One of the women is of Pakistani origin. She said Khan exploited traditional cultural values to bend her will to his. She feared being ostracized by her family and community if her relationship with Khan was exposed.
Her personal statement, read in court, revealed she’d become depressed, lost weight and considered suicide.
The second woman made two suicide attempts and has since relocated from her home in Manchester to another part of the country.
Khan led both women to believe he would form a serious relationship with them and marry them. He led one to believe he had a personal fortune of £2 million amassed from a car hire business.
As their relationship progressed he told her he had cashflow problems and requested her financial assistance, promising to pay her back. On several occasions she transferred money to his account. At one point she forked out £50,000 to purchase a Land Rover he’d persuaded her to intially lease for him and which was under threat of repossession unless bought outright.
He tricked the other woman into giving him over £20,000 for what he told her was a “business deal”. At another point she was fooled into providing him £50,000 out of her property’s equity. Despite promises, she was not repaid.
Khan pleaded guilty and his lawyer admitted his client’s behaviour displayed greed and arrogance.
After the case, Samantha Davidson, Senior Crown Prosecutor in the complex casework unit for CPS Yorkshire, said: “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.”