The Tallinn-based Harju County Court on Wednesday handed down a non-suspended jail sentence to a 48-year-old man who defrauded women he had contacted via dating apps of money, and ordered the man to pay over €1million back to his victims.
The court found Alar Mikfelt to be guilty of fraud and embezzlement and punished him with a five-year jail sentence, which was immediately reduced by one-third due to the application of the alternative procedure, meaning that Mikfelt must spend three years and four months in jail.
The sentence starts from the date of the arrest of the accused on March 20 last year, spokesperson for the court Viivika Siplane told BNS.
The court observed that a pecuniary punishment could not be applied in the case in question due to the uncertainty of its fulfilment, and also due to the level of culpability of the accused.
"The level of culpability is characterized by the large number of crimes, and it is likely that not all episodes have been identified. The intentional nature of the act was demonstrated by the manipulation of the victims and consistent presentation of false claims about his own person. Careful creation of a false identity shows long planning," the court said, adding that the remorse of the accused was self-justifying.
The court also granted civil claims by 17 women against Mikfelt for €1,050,369.57 in total.
According to the charges, Mikfelt, posing under the alias of Alar Tamm, used the Twoo dating app to get acquainted with women, whom he subsequently defrauded of various amounts of money on different pretexts from 2015 to 2019.
The police detained Mikfelt on March 20 last year, after a crime report had been field by two women.
Mikfelt pleaded guilty and promised to compensate the victims for the damage.
The police seized slightly over €3,600 from the accused.
Editor: Helen Wright