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West Van police issue arrest warrant for alleged Grindr fraudster

Photo West Van Police West Vancouver police have issued an arrest warrant for a suspect accused of targeting men through the Grindr online dating app.
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 Photo West Van PolicePhoto West Van Police

West Vancouver police have issued an arrest warrant for a suspect accused of targeting men through the Grindr online dating app.

Last October police received reports from two men saying they had met someone that identified himself as 'Richard' or 'Quantum' on Grindr offering to help them financially.

Police say the two male victims were allegedly encouraged to set up bank accounts in their name and cash cheques the suspect gave them. The fraudster then encouraged the victims to share the cash with him or buy things for him using the money.

Victims discovered the cheques the suspect had given them were fake and reported losing over $3,000 each.

Crown counsel has approved five charges against 39-year-old Christian Michael Lee Richardson who is believed to be of no fixed address. Charges include two counts of theft under $5,000, two counts of fraud under $5,000 and one count of uttering a forged document.

Police are asking anyone with information that could help them find Richardson to contact Detective Const. Sandra Rijken of the West Vancouver Police Major Crimes Unit at 604-925-7300.

Investigators believe it's possible that there are other victims that have not yet contacted police.