Matthew Bart Samuels, from Broadway Grove, Worcester, was ordered to pay a total of £105,040 to his victims within three months, when he appeared at Worcester Crown Court at a confiscation hearing.
Matthew Bart Samuels’s benefit from criminality was heard to be £179,152.23 and compensation from confiscation was sought for his victims. Samuels’ available amount was shown to be £105,040 and he was given three months to pay this figure.
If Matthew Bart Samuels fails to pay in time he will face a two year prison sentence. If at any point in the future Matthew Bart Samuels is deemed to have further assets, he will be taken back to court to recover further sums until the confiscation order, which totals £179,152.23, has been settled in full.
The 51 year-old was sentenced to eight years in prison in the same court in October 2015 after being found guilty of eight counts of fraud. He had taken advantage of women looking for love online, conning them, and in one case one of their relatives, out of a total of approximately £185,000.
Matthew Bart Samuels was also found not guilty of two counts of fraud last year. On one other count of fraud the jury was directed by the judge to find him not guilty.
Matthew Bart Samuels had previously pleaded guilty to impersonating a barrister on December 8th 2014.
In October 2015, Matthew Bart Samuels was sentenced to eight years in prison in total for the fraud offences and three months in prison for impersonating a barrister, to run concurrently. An indefinite restraining order was also put in place preventing Matthew Bart Samuels from contacting any of his victims.
The offences by Matthew Bart Samuels were carried out between January 2011 and March 2015 and the victims include four women who he met through internet dating websites. A further fraud offence related to the mother of a woman that Matthew Bart Samuels met online, who he defrauded by a total of £110,000 after advising her that he could invest her money for greater return. In fact he pocketed the money and spent it on himself.
Matthew Bart Samuels met women over the internet, through dating websites. He would use different methods, including driving expensive cars, wining and dining them and persuading them he was a millionaire. Then, once he had gained their trust, he would steal from them.
On some occasions Matthew Bart Samuels would persuade women to set up car companies as the legal head, whilst he ran them. He would also use finance deals and steal from his victims, eventually leaving when the debt ran too high. In some instances, he would persuade women to invest money with him or help him out of a fictional financial crisis, promising to pay them back, which he did not. Instead, he would spend their money on expensive cars for his own use.
Despite the lifestyle he portrayed, the reality was very different. Expensive cars were leased by Matthew Bart Samuels for the sole purpose of tricking women.
Matthew Bart Samuels managed simultaneous relationships, sometimes seeing three women in one day, and used his job as a car dealer to cover his absences from home from his then partner, who often worked away herself and did not know about his fraudulent activities.
Matthew Bart Samuels would sometimes use the names Matthew Copeland and David Copeland and has also falsely stated that he was a barrister, solicitor, financial advisor, a volunteer who assisted offenders and a medical surgeon specialising in knee surgery.
DI Mark Glazzard is from West Mercia Police. “The people who were heartlessly defrauded by Samuels showed great courage by speaking out about their experiences in order to bring him to justice,” he said. “The effect of his crimes was not just financial; there was also a significant emotional impact for his victims.
“Samuels did not just take their money, he also callously abused the trust and confidence they had placed in him.
“I hope that this week’s confiscation order provides some comfort for his victims and goes some way to compensating them for the financial and emotional hardship Samuels caused.
“It should also send out a clear message to all criminals that crime does not pay.”
Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police say they are committed to raising awareness of internet-related crime and giving people the knowledge they need to stay safe online.