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B.C. Grindr fraudster convicted of breaching probation by using app

This photo released by the West Vancouver Police Department in 2018 shows Christian Richardson, who used Grindr to meet and defraud male victims. This photo released by the West Vancouver Police Department in 2018 shows Christian Richardson, who used Grindr to meet and defraud male victims.

A B.C. man who was court-ordered not to use Grindr after he was convicted of using the app to target victims for fraud was found guilty of breaching his probation.

Christian Michael Lee Richardson, according to a decision handed down in Victoria earlier this month, was forbidden from using any online "dating or introduction apps" and from "contacting persons unknown to him over the Internet for sexual or romantic purposes."

The probation order came into effect when Richardson was released from prison after serving a sentence for what the judge described as the latest in a "near uninterrupted history of criminal acts of dishonesty" dating back more than a decade. Between 2012 and 2019, Richardson was convicted of 14 counts of fraud, once count of food fraud and one count of unauthorized use of credit card data.

"At his core, he is a demonstrably dishonest person," Judge David Silverman said when convicting him of the breach.

The breach of probation charge stemmed from allegations that Richardson contacted a University of Victoria student using Grindr in 2022, using a profile where he pretended to be a professor. The court heard from the student that the two men exchanged messages through the app, including ones with "sexual innuendoes" and another where Richardson sent a photo of his penis. The pair then moved onto Snapchat where they had an explicit video chat. Soon after they had one in-person meeting.

The judgment does not explain exactly why the student contacted police about Richardson, only saying that he identified "red flags" in their interactions online and in person.

In his defence, Richardson said he met the student in person before contacting him online – meaning he had not violated the order forbidding him from contacting "persons unknown to him." He also told the court that the conversations he had with the student were not sexual or romantic, and that the penis in the photo the student received "was not his."

Silverman's decision explains at length why he rejected Richardson's version of events, focusing mainly on the issue of credibility. Richardson's testimony is described in the decision as dishonest, untruthful and fraught with fabrications.

"Mr. Richardson certainly would not be the first person to have lied about himself to get someone to sleep with him; but that is precisely the problem with his evidence. His resort to dishonesty to achieve his objectives, in my view, pervades the entirety of his testimony. Fundamentally, I cannot find anything he said in response to the allegations against him to be truthful or rising to the level of reasonable doubt," the decision says.

"Even simple matters, which should not have been contentious, were addressed by him with untruthful and not reasonably believable answers."

Richardson was convicted on June 17 and according to publicly available court records he is in custody. His next appearance on this matter is a bail hearing scheduled for June 27. A date for his sentencing has not been set. Top Stories

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