Ipswich: Alleged internet dating fraudster accused of stealing around £100k from Suffolk woman and fleecing other females

Man accused of internet dating fraud

Man accused of internet dating fraud - Credit: PA

An alleged online dating fraudster has been charged with fleecing a Suffolk woman of just over £100,000.

Matthew Bart Samuels is facing accusations of making two illegal financial transactions in Ipswich as part of an alleged scam involving at least three women around the country.

The allegation is understood to involve the mother of one of the women he met through an internet dating site.

Samuels is accused of five counts of fraud by false representation, one of which is understood to relate to a female police officer.

The alleged offences are said to have taken place over a period of three years.

In addition to the five fraud charges Samuels is facing two allegations of theft. These are said to involve the female police officer who is based in the Midlands.

Samuels also stands accused of wilfully pretending to be a barrister between January 2013 and September 2014, and another charge of impersonating a police constable between October last year and September this year..

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The 49-year-old was arrested last week as part of a joint operation by police in Suffolk, Hampshire, Surrey, West Mercia, West Midlands and the Metropolitan Police.

He was taken to Hereford Police Station where he was questioned about the alleged complaints made against him.

After being interviewed by officers Samuels was charged and put before Worcester Magistrates Court on Saturday.

The fraud charge relating to Ipswich is said to have occurred between June 2013 and September this year.

The second is reported to have taken place in Herefordshire between January 2013 and September this year.

The accusation relates to around £60,000.

The third allegation involves a police officer in West Mercia and dates back to April 2011.

At this stage it is unclear who or what the two other fraud charges relate to.

The theft accusations are alleged to have happened between January 2013 and September 2014.

A spokesman for West Mercia Constabulary said: “A Staffordshire man has been charged with nine offences as part of an online dating fraud investigation, being led by West Mercia Police.

“Matthew Bart Samuels, aged 49, of Loxley Green, Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, was charged with five counts of fraud by false representation, one count of wilfully pretending to be a barrister, two counts of theft and one count of impersonating a police constable.”

Following Samuels appearance before Worcester magistrates he was remanded in custody.

Due to the seriousness of the charges his case was committed to Worcester Crown Court.

He is due to make his first appearance on the allegations at the crown court on December 8.

Samuels, who is reported to have fathered 14 children, is originally said to be from London.