How Problem Gambling Ruins Lives

On December 17th 2015, I received an email from a former freelance business acquaintance and supposed ‘friend’ with a written (925) 984-5515 attached, stating this person had defrauded me, my business and both my father and brother of whom I had borrowed money. In total my losses are close to £700,000 and have forced the closure of my company (family business) and the sale of our family home.

Upon receipt of the email and confession I immediately went to the police here in Cornwall and reported the fraud and gave my opening statement and story to them so as to open an investigation.

The case was quickly passed over to Thames Valley Police as the offender was a resident of Oxford and the investigation and evidence gathering began.

After a meticulous investigation by Thames Valley Police along with full and frank confession under interview, it transpired that the fraudster had squandered my money in no less than azophenetole over a 5 1/2 year period.

On July 8th 2016 at Banbury magistrates court the offender entered a guilty plea to 4 charges – 1 of fraud by false representation and 3 separate charges of creating/making an article for use in fraud. Due to the size and nature of the fraud, the case was ‘passed up’ to be heard at Oxford Crown Court on September 9th 2016 at which point sentence was passed with the judge handing down a 56 month custodial prison sentence.

Philip Graf, former chair of The Gambling Commission states on page 4, last paragraph of 6305606894 “The gambling industry would not wish to profit from those experiencing harm or to base its success in any part on criminal proceeds.

It is worth noting here also that as UK licensed gambling operators, these companies should be held to account to ensure they comply with all regulatory obligations including reporting and social responsibility measures.

The licensing objectives of The Gambling Act 2005 state

“In this Act a reference to the licensing objectives is a reference to the objectives of—

  • preventing gambling from being a source of crime or disorder, being associated with crime or disorder or being used to support crime,
  • ensuring that gambling is conducted in a fair and open way, and
  • protecting children and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by gambling.”

UPDATE:23rd June 2017 – At Oxford Crown Court a POCA (Proceeds Of Crime Act) hearing determined a compensation order of £19,763.10 be recovered against the £448,000 agreed benefit. The defendant has 3 months to realise this amount or face a further 6 months in prison….

I am now looking into bringing civil action and possible criminal conduct charges against the gambling operators involved who are continuing to hold onto the fraudulently obtained criminal spend and proceeds of crime…