Preston Crown Court heard how Roohan Amiji, of Buncer Lane, Blackburn, met his victim on a dating site in December 2021.
Hanifa Patel, prosecuting, told the court the pair began talking on Snapchat and it wasn’t long before the conversation turned to money, with the woman telling Amiji about a past relationship that had gone wrong, which cost him £1,000.
Ms Patel said Amiji told the woman he could help her get the £1,000 back through a Bitcoin or cryptocurrency scheme.
She said: “He gave her her sort code and account details and mobile number and told her to transfer money to him.
“She said she didn’t feel comfortable doing it, then challenged her about it and asked why she was uncomfortable before asking her to transfer £601 to him.
“She tried to do this but her bank stopped the transaction and contacted her to let her know they thought it was suspicious and believed she was a victim of a scam.”
The court was told that after this, Amiji asked to meet the woman and she picked him up in her car and they drove to Witton Park.
Once there they sat and talked for a while, but again, it wasn’t long before the conversation turned to money.
Mrs Patel continued: “He was reluctant to transfer the money to her and said he might be able to get her £100.
“She then dropped him at home and they continued to exchange text messages and he continued to ask her to consider his offer, pressuring her and telling her she was wasting her time if she didn’t.
“She then withdrew some cash and handed it to him and he said he would get it back but that never happened.”
The relationship continued, and the court was told the victim would pay for them to stay in hotels, and because she didn’t trust him, Amiji would exploit that.
He told her that she had a bad heart and would use it against her whenever they had a disagreement.
In January 2022, Amiji told his victim to buy four phones from him, which she did, and he contracted them under his name.
He also bought her an iPad and gave her the devices that she told him to keep in their original packages.
Mrs Patel said: “She was charmed by him and thought they might get married one day. She trusted him and continued to give him money.
“He said he was putting her into crypto and promised her £45,000.
“Over four months she gave him £16,000 and even took some of her family’s gold jewelery to the pawnbrokers and got him over £1,000 in cash.
“April 2022 was the last time he gave money to the defendant and he finally realized he had been the victim of a scam.”
The accused then started sending her threatening messages, telling her that she would “cut off her father’s chest” and kidnap her brother.
The victim, who appeared in court to read a personal statement, said Amiji had taken more than £35,000 from her, broken her trust in men and caused enormous strain on her family relationships.
Sarah Magill, mitigating, said Amiji, 30, had a gambling habit but had been working to fight his addiction and was disgusted with himself for what he had done.
Judge Simon Medland said: “You took advantage of your victim’s vulnerability and sent her frightening messages about her safety.
“You met her online and you must have recognized at a very early stage that she was vulnerable to your charms and started taking money from her to play.
“In total you received £35,000 from her and towards the latter part you made bad-natured threats to get more money out of her.”
Amiji pleaded guilty to fraud and malicious communications and was sentenced to 20 months in prison.
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