West Vancouver police seek to arrest gay-dating fraudster, encourage victims to come forward

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      West Vancouver Police are searching for a man suspected of targeting young queer men for fraud through a social-networking app.

      West Vancouver Police announced on April 18 that two men separately reported in October 2017 that they had been defrauded by a man they met through the gay-dating application Grindr.

      The male victims separately reported that the man identified himself as Richard or Quantum on the app, befriended them, and then offered them financial assistance.

      He allegedly encouraged them to establish bank accounts in their names, cash cheques that he gave them, and to share the cash with him or make purchases for him.

      The victims later found that the cheques he gave them were fraudulent and they reported losses that totalled over $3,000.

      West Vancouver detectives identified 39-year-old Christian Michael Lee Richardson, who is facing a total of five charges, including two counts of theft under $5,000, two counts of fraud under $5,000, and one count of uttering a forged document.

      An arrest warrant has been issued for Richardson, who is believed to be of no fixed address.

      Anyone with information about Richardson's whereabouts is asked to contact West Vancouver Police Major Crimes Unit's Det. Cst. Sandra Rijken at 604-925-7300.

      As there may be additional victims who have not yet contacted police, anyone who believes they may have also been victimized is encouraged to contact their local police.