A woman’s life destroyed by a despicable boyfriend who wasted her money

A ‘despicable’ boyfriend has been jailed for defrauding his partner of over £20,000. Ben Millin claimed he worked in the international money markets but needed the money because he was a victim of identity theft.

He wove a web of outrageous lies, took out loans in her name, controlled her access to mail, and moved into her house until she could no longer pay the mortgage.

He even asked her to pretend she had a mental illness and admit that a suspicious PayPal account was hers. When their relationship ended, the woman was so broke she had lost her house and was living in her car.

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After bleeding her money, the truth finally came out that Millin had a gambling addiction and wasted her money.

The defendant, who lived in Yeovil but has since moved to Exeter, was jailed for two years at Taunton Crown Court. The judge called his crimes “despicable”.

He added: “This is the most appalling and cruel fraud committed over a long period of time against a woman who was then in love with you. Almost from the start you lied to bleed her money by telling him a story of identity theft and banking problems.”

The prosecutor, Mr Harry Ahuja, said the couple had been in a relationship for two years. Millin told her that he worked in the financial sector and had been to London and Russia, but was struggling due to identity theft and she could give him some money. .

He moved into her house in 2018 and she handed over around £1,300 a month or £22,500 over the course of the relationship.

She sold some of his possessions and also asked to borrow money from friends and family to pay for him. Between March and May 2019, Millin took out three payday loans in his name without his knowledge. He had the keys to his mailbox and it took some time before the victim realized what he had done.

When she confronted him, he told her more lies, claiming he had only borrowed money to buy her a new phone which she never received. When the woman could no longer pay her mortgage, the couple moved in with her parents, but Millin continued to feed her lies.

She told him he needed £750 to pay a deposit on a house they could rent together. They had to act fast and she wouldn’t have time to see him, he told her. On the day they were to move in, he claimed his best friend had passed away and it wouldn’t be possible. He later admitted to making up the whole story.

The victim left his parents’ house and stayed with Airbnbs until the money ran out. She then lived in her car while continuing to work as a schoolteacher. She was so in debt that she took a shower and received food at her place of work.

Millin’s lies began to unfold in February 2020 when PayPal asked the victim to verify an account. She told them she didn’t know and asked Millin. He got mad at her and said she should call them back and say she had a mental illness and got confused. She refused and the couple separated.

Asked by police Millin claimed she agreed to lend him the money.

The victim was in court to hear the sentence. She read an impact statement. She was angry with him for the betrayal but sometimes felt sorry for him.

“I didn’t have much in my life in terms of possessions, but what I had was important and now I have nothing,” she said. “I don’t think he’s really sorry.” She said it would be difficult to rebuild her life and regain her independence after losing so much.

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The defendant, now of St Andrew’s Road, Exeter, admitted four counts of fraud. He was previously convicted of a burglary in 2012.

The defendant, who represented himself, said there was no excuse for what he had done and that he was sorry. He said he had made a “horrible life decision” and was ashamed. But he was trying to build a better life for himself in the future and didn’t ask for pity.

Judge Townsend said the remorse took a long time to come and the impact on the victim was devastating.

“You probably used to play,” he said. “I accept that you are trying to work through this. But that doesn’t begin to excuse what was quite a deliberate course against your partner knowing the effect it had on her.

“There may be some hope for your rehabilitation, but the only appropriate sentence is immediate detention.”

The judge apologized to the victim for the length of the case, but said it was not possible to award compensation in the circumstances. He imposed a 10-year restraining order so that Millin would not contact her.

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