All betting companies use promotions to attract new customers and retain existing ones, but they always come with terms and conditions.
For example, the new customer bonuses promoted on this site are only claimable by customers who have never used the sites in question before. This is to stop people signing up, using the bonus, then closing their accounts and opening a new one again in order to claim the bonus for second time.
Online gambling sites have extremely effective security measures in place and since they need to see photo ID of new customers before they are allowed to gamble, catching anyone trying to create duplicate accounts is relatively easy.
But what if you could sign up using your other half’s ID? Or your mother’s? It doesn’t really matter who the other person is to be honest; if they will give you their ID then you could sing up as them and have access to multiple accounts.
This is against the terms of service of course, and anyone caught doing it would get into trouble and be banned, but there are people out there who take the risk.
Few though, if any, have taken the scam as far as Jon Howard, a 40 year old man from Stapleford Tawney in Essex.
Over 1,000 Betting Accounts
Unbelievably, Jon Howard had access to over one thousand betting accounts with Bet365, a number which he had built up over many years by convincing people to give him their details.
It is not yet known whether these people received any sort of financial reward or not.
This meant that Jon could log on and place bets using offers and promotions hundreds and hundreds of times without worrying about account limitations – a clear breach of the terms and not to mention breaking the law.
Speaking on behalf of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, Detective Sergeant Mike Monnkton said,
“The whole enterprise was dishonest and designed to deceive the gambling company.”
Amazingly, the illegal enterprise had been running since 2008, and was only flagged in 2018, and the investigation has taken this long to get to court.
Police found the whole thing set up in his home to run like a legitimate business, along with 177 different sim cards that were being used to trick the system.
It is estimated that Howard profited by at least £236,000 during the fraud.
Convicted and Jailed for 5 Years
Despite denying the charges – and considering the sort of evidence they found i’m not sure how he could do so with a straight face – Howard was found guilty after a 4 week trial ending in March.
Last week, he was sentenced to 5 years in jail for conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation, as well conspiracy to commit fraud against bank Santander. I can only assume the crimes involving Santander were linked.
It should be said that although Jon Howard was the main player in the scam, he did not work alone.
He was part of a syndicate which included Anna Nikolopoulos and Daniel Gorman, both of whom were also convicted but received lighter sentences.
None of them were found guilty of money laundering despite being charged.
A warning, if it were needed, for anyone who was considering ways to beat the bookie illegally or immorally.
Stick to seeking out good value odds and properly researching your picks!