Woman fed gambling habit by conning old men

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17:31 CET+01:00
Stavanger district court has found a 25-year-old woman guilty of tricking elderly men into giving her millions of kroner, which she then used to bet on horses at a racetrack outside the city in south-western Norway.

The court sentenced the woman to four years and seven months in jail after she lured men as much as sixty years her senior to empty their bank accounts in exchange for her love, newspaper Dagbladet reports.

In all, she received 2.3 million kroner ($400,000) from three men over the last four years.

Her handbag stuffed with fresh notes, the woman would spend as much as 20,000 kroner on bets whenever she turned up at the Forus harness racing track on the outskirts of Stavanger.

”The 25-year-old systematically exploited people who were elderly and infirm. She tricked them into giving her lots of money by getting them to believe she was their lover,” prosecutor Sigve Espeland told the newspaper.

The Turkish-born woman at the centre of the case got to know two of her victims, an 84-year-old man and his mentally ill 83-year-old neighbour, by posing as a newspaper delivery worker at the care home where they lived.

Having convinced the 83-year-old, who suffers from bipolar disorder, that she was his lover, the woman spent the next year and a half asking him for money, ostensibly to cover the costs of further education, family debts and paying off a dangerous loan shark.

The court heard that one payment was as high as 725,000 kroner, and eventually the woman cleaned out his bank accounts.

She then moved on to the man next door, Dagbladet said, an 84-year-old pensioner. Using a false name, the woman managed to get him to give her hundreds of thousands of kroner in separate instalments, even after she was caught by police for the first time and ordered to stay away from him.

As the woman chipped away the 84-year-old’s savings, he began finding it increasingly difficult to pay his monthly charitable donations.

”He cried when he realized he was bankrupt,” the man’s nephew told Dagbladet.   

Next, the woman swindled tens of thousands of kroner from a man in his forties who lived at home with his parents in Oslo. He began sending her money after she met him in Stavanger and said she was ready for a long-term relationship.

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Prosecutor Sigve Espeland described the woman's victims as men who ”lacked the normal capacity” to understand they were being ripped off.

While the charges dealt only with these three cases, the woman admitted to cheating some 30 other men she met through dating websites and TV teletext services.

The court acknowledged that the woman had a difficult upbringing but said it did not take this into account when sentencing her due to the cynical nature of the crimes.

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