How the ‘British Tinder Swindler’ cheated his granny out of £70,000

The £100 shirt, salmon-pink with a designer brand on the pocket, is casually unbuttoned on the collar. A designer watch – a Rolex, maybe – is seen underneath his left cuff.

His hair is neatly-styled, tooth – mounted in a broad smile – are gleaming white, and his pores and skin is golden with the tan of a current vacation.

From his profile on the enterprise networking web site LinkedIn, Myles McNamara appears to be like like some other businessman. A good-looking, well-groomed one at that.

Based in Alderley Edge, the leafy suburb of Cheshire favoured by millionaires and footballers, he lists his job title as ‘director’ and says he’s self-employed.

This professional-looking profile stays on LinkedIn: a reminder of the assured, clean-cut persona McNamara introduced to the world, one which duped 4 ladies – and, the Mail can reveal, as least 11 extra – into giving him loans of 4, 5 and six-figure sums which he by no means paid again.

Cieran Griffin, 37, used aliases and fake social media accounts to pass himself off as a barrister, a property developer and a high-flying businessman

Cieran Griffin, 37, used aliases and faux social media accounts to cross himself off as a barrister, a property developer and a high-flying businessman

Griffin was arrested last September and left one woman £250,530.81 out of pocket

Griffin was arrested final September and left one girl £250,530.81 out of pocket

The man within the image was unmasked this week as Cieran Griffin (also referred to as Cieran McNamara and Myles McNamara), a serial romance conman, in comparison with the notorious ‘Tinder Swindler’, who was jailed for seven years for defrauding ladies he was relationship out of greater than £300,000.

Griffin, 37, used aliases and faux social media accounts to cross himself off as a barrister, a property developer and a high-flying businessman, pretending to dwell a lavish life-style – first-class journey, five-star resorts, wads of money – when, in actuality, he was unemployed, penniless and of no mounted tackle.

In an astonishingly brazen transfer, he even tried to proceed his scams from jail: one in all his closing victims, a 43-year-old girl not a part of the current courtroom case, has revealed he wined and dined her whereas masquerading as a DJ named James McNamara, earlier than writing a grovelling word from jail telling her ‘I have missed you’.

For the lady, who was left with a £1,000 invoice for a luxurious wellness membership in London and described the fraudster as ‘Prince Charming’, it appears to have been a fortunate escape.

An investigation by Cheshire Police, triggered when one other of his earlier girlfriends raised the alarm, resulted in Griffin being arrested final September, and because of the detailed testimony of his 4 most up-to-date victims, he’s now behind bars.

Three of the ladies he conned have restraining orders towards him and, for concern of tarnishing their private {and professional} reputations even additional, all 4 have requested to not be recognized to allow them to transfer on with their lives.

One, we will reveal, was overlooked of pocket to the tune of £250,530.81 – an eye-watering sum which exhibits the depths of his deceit.

These ladies’s lives have been destroyed, their financial institution accounts emptied and their self-confidence left in tatters because of Griffin’s actions – for which he pleaded responsible, however has proven not a speck of regret.

As one in all his victims advised the Mail this week: ‘I don’t need to relive this. His face is in all places now, so he gained’t be capable of cover.’

But one other girl – who was in a relationship with Griffin on and off for six months, and was tricked into loaning him £3,200 – does need to converse out.

Danielle (not her actual identify), 40, a single mum-of-four from Birmingham, met Griffin – then calling himself Christian McNamara – on the relationship web site Bumble in September 2021.

Speaking completely to the Mail, she says the pair by no means met, however spoke a number of instances a day on-line, on WhatsApp and through video name.

‘He was flirty and very sexual right from the start,’ she says. ‘I enjoyed the banter, it was a laugh – something to make me smile and feel good about myself.

‘I was never attracted to him physically – I liked his sense of humour. But he loved sending me pictures of himself. He was extremely arrogant; he referred to himself as the “Ice King”.’

Griffin stole £70,000 from his grandmother Kathleen O'Sullivan - he would steal her bank card and memorise the numbers to buy expensive goods and flights

Griffin stole £70,000 from his grandmother Kathleen O’Sullivan – he would steal her financial institution card and memorise the numbers to purchase costly items and flights

Griffin advised Danielle he was 41 and labored as a barrister for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), which rang true as a result of he knew the names of senior officers and claimed to work for numerous completely different barristers’ chambers, regardless of not showing on their web sites.

‘He made the story very believable,’ she insists. ‘He’d go to completely different locations round London, the place he claimed to dwell, taking images and dropping pins on Google Maps to suit the narrative of what he stated he was doing.

‘He sent me a picture of himself outside the CPS building. I had no reason to doubt him at that stage.’

After shedding contact for a number of months, they matched once more on Bumble in April 2022 – and Danielle says it was solely a matter of weeks earlier than Griffin first requested her for cash.

‘Just before Easter he called and said he’d been mugged on a prepare and misplaced all his playing cards. He stated he couldn’t get residence.

‘He gave me his bank details and I transferred £100 without a second thought.

‘This was a man I was interested in, a potential boyfriend, and it appealed to my nature to help him out.’

But the requests for cash saved on coming.

‘As it was the bank holiday, he said he couldn’t get his playing cards again, so he wanted extra to get him by the weekend,’ remembers Danielle.

‘Then it was his best friend’s wedding ceremony and he didn’t have sufficient money to get there and again. Next it was a golf match together with his boss and it might embarrass him if he couldn’t go.

‘He was clever. Whenever I’d query his story, he’d video name me and be very nice, getting me in an excellent temper. Within an hour, he’d ask for cash once more.

‘In that moment, I trusted him. I thought I was helping him out with a few bits and bobs – I wasn’t retaining tally as a result of I believed he’d pay all of it again.’

The subsequent excuse Griffin gave Danielle was that he owed £15,000 in authorized money owed. He additionally claimed to be going by a painful divorce, leaving his checking account within the pink. At one level, he stated he was in such monetary straits he was going to take his personal life.

Over two months, between April and June 2022, Danielle made 37 transfers to Griffin’s account, totalling £3,200 – a determine which, wanting again, she feels deeply ashamed of.

She says it left her, a working mom making an attempt to assist her kids, ‘without a penny to my name’.

‘At one point, I didn’t eat for ten days. I made certain my kids had been fed, so I went with out. We didn’t have sufficient to purchase rest room paper. I couldn’t pay my payments.’

She requested a number of instances a day for the cash again, however Griffin prevaricated, ignored her calls and messages, and confirmed his nasty facet, calling her ‘crazy’ and blaming her for ‘harassing’ him.

Eventually, after promising to satisfy her with the money six instances – at numerous areas close to her Birmingham residence – and failing to point out up, Griffin ceased all contact.

As effectively as reporting him to West Midlands Police (who, to her frustration, didn’t comply with up on her allegations, as an alternative directing her to Action Fraud, the nationwide reporting centre), she began doing her personal detective work on-line.

‘I put a picture of the two of us on Bumble, explaining what he’d executed, and requested different ladies to come back ahead in the event that they’d had related experiences,’ she explains.

‘Eight women got in touch. He’d used completely different names – to 1 he known as himself “Myles O’Sullivan” – and claimed to do all types of various jobs: working for the BBC, being a pilot, even being in a band.

Griffin attempted to continue his scams from prison: one of his final victims, a 43-year-old woman, has revealed he wined and dined her while masquerading as a DJ named James McNamara, before writing a grovelling note from jail telling her ‘I have missed you’

Griffin tried to proceed his scams from jail: one in all his closing victims, a 43-year-old girl, has revealed he wined and dined her whereas masquerading as a DJ named James McNamara, earlier than writing a grovelling word from jail telling her ‘I have missed you’

In the note to the woman, Griffin says 'it's been a rollercoaster few days'

In the word to the lady, Griffin says ‘it has been a rollercoaster few days’

‘One of them had taken out a £4,500 loan for him and never got it back. It was heartbreaking.’

With so many various aliases and backstories to untangle, Danielle discovered herself asking the query: simply who was this man and the way was he capable of get away with it for therefore lengthy?

The reply was extra sinister than she might have imagined.

Speaking completely to the Mail this week, Griffin’s uncle, Anthony Ostrowski, revealed that each one the fraudster’s kinfolk ‘hate him with a passion’ for what he did, not solely to those ladies, however to his family 20 years earlier.

Anthony, 70, a retired builder who lives in Margate, Kent, says he disowned his nephew after he stole £70,000 from his maternal grandmother aged simply 16.

‘He fleeced my mum four or five times for significant amounts and lots of little amounts over time,’ Anthony says.

‘He would pinch her bank card and she’d by no means understand it was gone. He used to memorise the numbers.

‘He was stealing from her to buy things and see places. He’d use it to purchase flights.

‘He liked all the gear and bought Burberry coats and things like that. He always liked to look smart.’

It’s a behavior that appears to have caught. When police arrested Griffin final yr, they recovered £19,500 price of brand-new clothes and sports activities equipment, together with a £1,900 Burberry coat, a £400 Burberry scarf, Dubarry boots, Gucci trainers and a Ping golf set.

But his prison behaviour may be traced again even additional.

An solely little one, Griffin was born in Coventry, the place his half-Polish mom, Christine Ostrowski, labored all hours in a manufacturing facility and as a cleaner to lift him alone.

His delivery identify is, in reality, Cieran Daniel Ostrowski: Griffin was his grandmother’s maiden identify.

Relatives aren’t clear about his father’s identification: he’s thought to have been Limerick-born painter and decorator Henry ‘Harry’ McNamara (which explains his use of the surname) who separated from Christine, had no contact together with his son and just lately died of a coronary heart situation aged 79.

A James McNamara, presumably a relative of Harry’s and as soon as registered on the identical Coventry tackle as Griffin, was convicted of finishing up £1,400 price of cheque fraud in 2018. The apple, it appears, didn’t fall removed from the tree.

Christine had psychological well being issues and struggled to take care of her son – so, aged round six, he moved a brief distance away to dwell together with his grandmother, Kathleen O’Sullivan (one other acquainted surname) and her long-term boyfriend, Maurice.

‘My mum [Kathleen] doted on him and spoilt him absolutely rotten and… he took advantage of it,’ says Anthony.

Anthony’s mom advised him Griffin was autistic, and he attended a college for youngsters with particular wants till he was 11.

There, he was one thing of a loner, bullied and continuously moving into bother. The complete household – his ten aunts and uncles – chipped in to attempt to make his life higher.

‘He was a quiet lad and very tall for his age,’ says Anthony. ‘I bought him trainers, phones and clothes when he was about nine or ten because I used to feel sorry for him.’

Griffin was an altar boy at Corpus Christi Catholic church in Binley, Coventry – and it was right here that he was first caught stealing.

Kathleen was ‘horrified’ when the priest broke the information that her grandson, then 14, had been serving to himself to the contents of the gathering field.

His livid household marched him to the native police station, the place he was briefly put in a cell to show him a lesson. He cried his eyes out. But no lesson was realized.

Just a few years later, he was again on the police station – and this time it went to courtroom, the place Kathleen gave proof towards Griffin for stealing the £70,000. He was sentenced to 18 months behind bars.

‘She phoned me after and stated, “He’s gone to prison, the little toerag,”’ Anthony remembers.

‘That’s why not one of the household need something to do with the boy.

‘After the way her treated her, my mum was devastated. She was like that until she died in 2002.’

Griffin’s household forbade him from attending her funeral. He lower all ties with them, besides his mom, who appeared blind to his misdeeds and even let him keep at her terraced residence in Rugby.

But he abused her belief, organising a credit score account with builders’ service provider Jewsons in 2015 and working up a invoice of over £7,000, giving his mom’s home as his ‘company’ tackle.

When investigators turned up at her door, Christine realised she’d been had.

She died later that yr of a coronary heart assault. Griffin was, as soon as once more, banned by his household from going to the funeral.

His aunt, Yadzia Daynes, 71, stated this week of her sister: ‘Christine had her hardships but always stayed by her son.

‘She was such a gentle soul. Cieran definitely caused her distress. He’s at all times been bother.’

In the next years, an unrepentant Griffin ramped up his romance fraud, which spanned a number of counties – London, Cheshire, Warwickshire and Hertfordshire – and ladies of all ages and backgrounds.

In 2014, he was sentenced for 15 months for defrauding a girl he met on a relationship web site.

In 2017, he bought two years, 5 months for conning a girlfriend – who believed he was a barrister, and at whose residence he spent most nights of the week – out of £3,700.

After asking for loans and deposits for a (non-existent) romantic vacation to Cyprus, he fell again on a way he’d used all these years earlier than: memorising her financial institution particulars and utilizing her card to pay for lavish meals, designer items and journey.

The choose at Warwick Crown Court stated on the time: ‘This sentence must have a deterrent effect, because you must be deterred from acting in this way again towards women with whom you form a relationship.’

A mere 4 years later, he was at it once more. Danielle suspects he by no means stopped.

Mercifully, through her financial institution’s fraud division, she managed to get all her a refund. It’s not identified if the 4 ladies who took Griffin to courtroom ever did.

Now, dealing with a prolonged stretch in HMP Altcourse, a Category B males’s jail in Liverpool, she says the fraudster is ‘where he deserves to be’.

‘It’s a great distance from the excessive life he was residing with my cash,’ she provides.

‘I just hope other women out there listen to my story, so it doesn’t occur to them.

‘And take a long, hard look at his face – because, mark my words, he’ll by no means change.’

Additional reporting by Stephanie Condron and Andy Dolan