A 34-year-old escort has been jailed for more than five years after duping an elderly client out of £2,500,000 for fake investments.
Louise Caplan started dating retired Deloitte executive Henry Sless, both from Buckinghamshire after they met for paid sex in November 2017.
Mr Sless, 68, said he ‘instantly fell for her’ and happily obliged when she asked him to be her ‘sugar daddy’, continuing to meet for sex while he paid her £10,000 a month.
A court heard how she then tricked him into handing over huge loans for sham projects as far afield as Dublin and Dubai, instead spending the money on luxury holidays, designer gear and a £1 million house.
Caplan’s ‘fantasy’ of becoming successful businesswoman was said to have pushed her to exploit a man of ‘staggering naivety’ who didn’t ask her for paperwork despite his accomplished career as an accountant.
The pair met through an escort website after Mr Sless agreed to pay her £400 for sex, Aylesbuy Crown Court was told.
In a statement read out in court, Mr Sless said: ‘It felt like we clicked immediately and within a few days of our first meeting Ms Caplan sent a message saying she would have married me if I would have been 10 years younger and she was 10 years older.
‘We met five or so times in the first year and we were in contact on a daily basis. I instantly fell for her.
‘Some time in late November or early December 2017, Ms Caplan came to me and asked me if I would be her “sugar daddy”. She asked me to give her £150,000 a year, I negotiated it down to £10,000 per month.’
On top of the fraudulent investment loans, Mr Sless showered Caplan with gifts worth more than £1 million.
Despite having previously had an annual income of just £7,000, she was now able to spend £313,000 on artworks and £619,000 on retail goods.
Prosecutor Stefan Weidmann said: ‘When asked why he would give such enormous loans on an informal basis Mr Sless said he the pair to be in a long term relationship and he believed that they had a future together and they would be married and together raise Ms Caplan’s daughter.’
Defending, Jon Swaine said Caplan initially made genuine attempts to pursue a career as an interior designer, and it was only when the bills began to catch up with her that she turned to fraud.
He told the court: ‘She intended to use this money in a business but she was hopelessly out of her depth. She hired expensive accountants who advised her that she had no hope of success.
‘Her huge error was not to go to Mr Sless and say I have been stupid and I have let you down. She had no hope of paying this all back.’
She was sentenced to five years and three months in prison after previously admitting to fraud, with the judge telling her: ‘I am in no position to tell the truth of how many times he took advantage of your sexual services.
‘It was at least six times but I am strongly suspicious about that given the extremely large figures in this fraud. This had all the hallmarks of a business arrangement and if it was business, it was certainly not done properly.’
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