Gaydar’s £300,000 fraudster must repay £2 this month

Stephen Gray February 14, 2012
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A man who was jailed after trawling Gaydar to steal from gay men must repay only £2 of the £300,000 he acquired and forfeit any future windfalls when he leaves prison.

Mark Andrew Bishop, 38, was given a four year custodial sentence in 2011 after he stole nearly a third of a million pounds, including over £210,000 from one man.

Bishop had nine known victims and police said at the time of his conviction he may have targeted many more.

Now he must repay only £2 within four weeks after Gloucester Crown Court was told he had no assets, local media reports.

For years, Bishop had told Gaydar and other gay website users a story about being a wealthy Old Etonian and needing a place to stay. He would then steal from them before moving on to his next victim.

Prosecutor Philip Warren had said at his trial: “His general theme was to attach himself to a series of men, deceive them as to his prospects and status, sometimes using assumed names, and tell them tales of hardship and bereavement to help him relieve them of significant sums of money.”

Bishop extracted a total of £297,103 from the men he defrauded, and £212,488 from a single man over three years both through loans and theft.

On Monday, he was given 28 days to repay the £2 sum or face an extra day in prison under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

One of bishops victims who lost £3,000 told the Gloucestershire Echo: “The fact he is not going to have to pay any money back is disappointing but not unexpected. Ever since reporting it to police I have pretty much written it off.

“From my experience of knowing Bishop, I’m sure he spent any money he had almost straight away. It is no surprise he has nothing left.

“It has left the people he took from with no chance of getting reimbursed, which is very frustrating indeed.”

More: fraud, gaydar, online, online fraud

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