Smooth-talking confidence trickster Henryk Rusin was jailed today after a court heard how he fleeced his victims with tales of get rich quick schemes.
He made out he was a successful city banker and stockbroker to persuade his victims to part with thousands of pounds.
Rusin promised them big returns if they gave him their money to invest.
It was a lie and the money was used to fund his own lavish lifestyle.
His victims included a newsagent whose shop he would go to to buy his cigarettes, a builder who came to his home in Tring to carry out work and two women who fell for his smooth patter.
One of the woman had answered his ad in the Lonely Hearts columns of The Sunday Times.
In all, St Albans Crown Court heard today, the four victims had lost around £95,000 due to Rusin’s deception.
The court was told some money had been paid back by him, but £72,000 was still outstanding.
Rusin, of Akeman Street, Tring, pleaded guilty to four offences of fraud by false deception.
The offences had covered a four year period between June 2007 and July 2011.
Claudette Elliott, prosecuting, said 56-year-old Rusin, a married man with two daughters, had persuaded his local newsagent into parting with £35,000, saying he could invest the money and make the man £110,000.
The court was told the victim was particularly vulnerable because he was trying to raise money to pay for medical treatment for his son in the USA – and he ended up losing £19,000.
Builder Stephen Morley, 52, from Leighton Buzzard parted with £10,000 after listening to Rusin’s claims that he could invest the money and there would be high returns.
He said: “He’s a lying, cheating, selfish, manipulative bully.”
He said that he borrowed £6,500 of the money from his parents’ savings. His mother is 79 and his father, who had a heart attack three weeks ago, is 81.
Stephen added: “He’s a nasty man and causes a lot of stress in people’s lives.”
Rusin had previously built himself up as a pillar of the community, gaining his neighbours’ trust by appearing to help them through their problems.
The court heard that one woman had lost £23,000 after falling for Rusin’s lies and a second woman had lost £25,000 to him.
Passing sentence Judge Steven Warner said: “These were mean offences which involved the loss of hard-earned money.”
The judge said he had targeted vulnerable and gullible victims who had been taken in by his stories.
The court heard that in 1995 Rusin had been jailed for similar offences.
Judge Warner said: “There is a dishonest streak in you which has appeared after a gap of 18 years.”
He jailed him for a total of three years and seven months.