A serial fraudster who conned a woman out of her house has been jailed after an investigation by North Yorkshire Police.
Marc Raven, 61, claimed he was a successful businessman, yet defrauded his victims out of a total of £300,000.
Raven, who also used the aliases Marc Bookey, Marc Cohen and Marc Stewart, deceived one Harrogate woman into marrying him and selling her home.
She met Raven through a dating app in January 2018, and they were married by October.
Raven told her he had a large amount of money in a Singaporean bank account that he was having difficulty accessing.
He persuaded her to sell her home in Harrogate and use the money to live on, making her believe they would soon be buying a property worth more than £1 million.
Meanwhile, he was taking money from her, with the promise he would pay her back when his cash arrived. They made offers on a number of houses, but each sale stalled, with Raven blaming the sellers.
It was not until October 2019 that Raven’s lies fell apart.
Between June 2018 and May 2019, the victim had transferred him more than £200,000. She had to declare herself bankrupt and move in with family.
Raven was arrested by North Yorkshire Police officers. During the course of their investigation into him, they discovered another victim in Singapore who had transferred about £100K to Raven.
‘Done immeasurable damage’
Having pleaded guilty in September to fraud against two women, Raven, of no fixed address, appeared at York Crown Court for sentencing yesterday (Monday).
He was sentenced to eight years and one month in jail.
In a personal statement read at court, the daughter of the woman Raven married said: “The damage Marc has done to my family is immeasurable, and no punishment will ever repair the damage he’s done to my mum.
“I just hope that he’s unable to cause this much harm and pain to anyone again.”
DC Neil Brodhurst, of North Yorkshire Police, said: “Raven was a serial fraudster, who lied again and again to obtain money from women he was in a relationship with. It’s no exaggeration to say his deception has shattered lives.
“While nothing can undo the damage he has caused, I hope that this result can at least bring about some closure for the victims.
“And it will ensure that no one else can ever be taken in by his lies, or forced to suffer what they have endured.”
He added: “It’s not easy to take the first step to break free of financial abuse, but you will not be alone – the police are here to support you.
“Call us on 101. We will talk to you in confidence about the help that’s available.”