Home Barking, Dagenham, & Surrounding Areas Victim of romance fraud ‘was defrauded a second time by private investigator hired to investigate it’

Victim of romance fraud ‘was defrauded a second time by private investigator hired to investigate it’

Ricky Gill

Ricky – also known as Ravinder – Gill, 40, of Saville Road, Chadwell Heath, London, was sentenced to eight months in imprisonment suspended for 18 months for fraud by false representation at Lewes Crown Court on Thursday, July 27, according to Sussex Police.

According to a police spokeswoman, after being cheated of £39,500 by a guy she met on a dating site, a woman from Worthing decided to employ a private investigator in an attempt to retrieve the money.

“The victim contacted both Sussex Police and company ‘Secret Service Investigations’, which described itself as ‘a group of ex-police, military and intelligence personnel who between them have 120 years’ experience dealing with all types of cases’,” the spokesperson added.

“In May, 2022, Gill was hired to investigate the fraud and recover the money. He identified a suspect in America and travelled there to make further enquiries with the US police and the suspected fraudster. The victim covered the cost of flights and accommodation, and security staff working for Gill, which amounted to £4,420.”

“When Gill began to ask the victim for more funds to complete his task, her bank account froze due to the large sums of money she was attempting to transfer. The Sussex and Surrey Cyber Crime Unit investigated further and uncovered a web of lies surrounding Gill’s work history, qualifications, and the case he was supposedly pursuing in America.”

“The money had in fact paid for him to take a friend on holiday whilst he provided the victim with false updates. Although he did visit a police station in the US, a crime report was not filed, and whilst he did approach a security company to work with him, they declined. Gill still invoiced the victim for their services, as well as forging his travel receipts to claim more money than needed from her.”

“Gill had made several false representations to the victim to encourage her to hire his services: he said he had multiple offices across the world whilst working from just one in his garden; he stated he was a police officer for over 17 years but was instead a police analyst for six years and claimed to have highly skilled and trained staff with ‘120 years’ experience’ when he had no contracted staff at all.”

Gill pled not guilty to a charge of fraud by false representation in February, but amended his plea to guilty in June, according to police. He was handed a suspended jail term, £4,430 in compensation, £500 in costs, and a restraining order against the victim until further notice, according to police.

Daniel Sykes, of the Sussex and Surrey Cyber Crime Unit, said: “Gill preyed on a vulnerable person who was seeking help. He took advantage of her trust and repeatedly falsified information for his own gain. Fraud is a cruel crime that leaves a devastating impact, both financially and emotionally. We take reports of fraud very seriously and by securing this conviction, have removed another conman from our streets.”

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