A fake UN ambassador who swindled women before vanishing from their lives by staging his own abduction has been jailed for three years.
Lawyer Marcelo Henrique Morato Castilho tricked at least six victims with his manipulation methods worthy of a ‘movie plot’ a judge said.
He first came under investigation after deceiving a doctor he had known since childhood after reconnecting with her at church in 2017.
A little over a month later, he asked for her hand in marriage, with their wedding date set for late 2018.
Castilho made her pay for all the wedding expenses after telling her he couldn’t pay himself because his salary was paid into a US bank.
Two days before the big day, he vanished and his fiancée was sent a photo of him tied up and kneeling.
After trying to seek help, she quickly lost all contact with her husband-to-be and his family – so she contacted the police.
When she later pressed charges against Castilho, she discovered he was married to another woman, whom police also consider a victim.
The court in São José do Rio Preto, Brazil, heard how the lawyer wooed his victims by posing as a UN ambassador, a former judge, a diplomat, and even an English lord.
They say he flaunted a life of luxury in a bid to impress the women before abruptly disappearing from their lives.
In at least one case, Castilho faked having a stroke, and in another incident, he ‘fell into a coma’ while abroad.
In court, Castilho denied the accusations, telling judges that the doctor had paid for the wedding expenses – including the venue, dress, and photographer – of her own free will.
Judge Gláucia Véspoli de Oliveira said: ‘The defendant exhibits a manipulative and inventive personality, displaying pathological lying behaviour.
‘His fabrications and schemes know no bounds, not even within the realm of logic.’
Castilho has been sentenced to three years and six months in a semi-open prison regime and must pay the doctor £10,000.
Judge De Oliveira described his ‘string of lies’ as ‘worthy of a movie plot’.
He added: ‘The motives behind the crime are extremely self-centred.
‘Egocentrism, narcissism, chauvinism, pleasure in deceiving, or sadism towards others’ suffering are some possible traits evident in his conduct.’
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