Love rat took out payday loans on behalf of women he met online

The gambling love rat convinced the women he met on dating site Plenty Of Fish that he was the “perfect man” before taking out payday loans in their name, leaving a bankrupt

  • James Whitehouse, 30, met four women online and earned their trust
  • He told them to expect payments to their account and pass them on to him
  • They didn’t know he had taken out high interest loans on their behalf
  • Woman filed for bankruptcy because of the cost of repayments
  • Whitehouse was jailed for two years at Birmingham Crown Court

Conman: James Whitehouse, pictured, defrauded £ 1,800 from his victims by taking out payday loans in their name

A con artist who had a romance with women he met online and then took out payday loans on their behalf has been jailed.

Drug addict James Whitehouse, 30, drove one of his victims into bankruptcy after he ran away with hundreds of pounds and left her to deal with the high interest repayments.

He was jailed for two years at Birmingham Crown Court after admitting four counts of fraud, totaling £ 1,800, against victims he met on dating site Plenty of Fish.

The court heard that one of the victims believed Whitehouse was “the perfect man” until he stole his identity for easy money.

After using their personal details to apply for loans, he told the four women to expect the money to come into their bank accounts for transfer to him.

Not realizing that the funds were coming from high interest loan companies, his victims sent the payments to Whitehouse and were then hit with the bill for the loans he had taken out on their behalf.

During this time, he used the money to finance his gambling habit.

Zaheer Afzal, prosecutor, said: “Mr. Whitehouse befriended women on a website, gained their trust and then exploited them.

“He used the same method in each case and left victims vulnerable to high interest payments to payday lenders.

“His victims have been exploited financially and emotionally.”

Whitehouse first targeted women in February 2011 and struck up another relationship in September of last year.

The court heard that he then robbed two more women after his arrest the following month, when one of his victims surrendered to the police.

“Perfect man”: Whitehouse found his victims on the dating site Plenty of Fish. None of the people pictured were involved in the trial.

Jailed: Whitehouse was jailed for two years at Birmingham Crown Court on four counts of fraud

Jailed: Whitehouse was jailed for two years at Birmingham Crown Court on four counts of fraud

Conviction, Judge William Davis QC told Whitehouse: “You’ve gone from one to the other, leaving them financially worse off and emotionally besieged.

“You have cheated and defrauded one vulnerable woman after another, just to support your gambling habit. “

Since his arrest for his crimes, the court has heard that Whitehouse has tried to control his addiction and saved £ 500 to reimburse his victims.

Niall Skinner, in defense, said: “He wanted to reimburse part of the money to the victims.

“He seems to have made good progress in his gambling addiction himself, but he’s not naive enough to say he’s won it over.”

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