UK: man jailed over betting bonus fraud

The player created more than 1,000 betting accounts with the operator.
The player created more than 1,000 betting accounts with the operator.

The 40-year-old man has been sentenced for false representation against gambling operator bet365.

UK.- A man has been sentenced to five years in prison for attempting to commit fraud against the gambling operator bet365 as well as Santander bank. Jonathan Howard, 40, organised a syndicate through which people let him use their details so he could claim multiple bonuses from the operator.

Howard created more than 1,000 online betting accounts using different people’s names in order to circumvent the limit on bonuses on a single account. Over more than ten years, from 2008, the illegal operation is estimated to have netted Howard £236,000.

He denied the charges but Basildon Crown Court found him guilty of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation after a four-week trial. The resident of Stapleford Tawney, Essex, was acquitted on a further charge of money laundering.

Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate detective sergeant Mike Monkton said: “Betting online in someone else’s name is against the terms of use. The whole enterprise was dishonest and designed to deceive the gambling company.

“When we were notified in 2018, we embarked upon a lengthy and complex investigation that took some time to unravel. When we executed a warrant at Jon Howard’s address in Stapleford Tawney in February 2019, it was obvious that this was set up to look like any other legal business.

“Hours were spent trawling through paperwork in different names, receipts for luxury items, bank books and 177 sim cards that were seized from the address. Substantial sums of money were involved.”

See also: New reports says more data needed on UK problem gambling

Malta: investigators say illegal operation taking 30% of lottery market

Investigators have reportedly claimed that an illegal lottery operation is stealing up to 30 per cent of sales from Malta’s official national lottery. MaltaToday says that financial investigators became aware of the operation after the arrest of Melvin Theuma in relation to the 2019 assassination of the journalist Caruana Galizia.

MaltaToday reports that it has been informed that the current operators of the illegal lottery inherited the operation, or part of it, from Theuma, who has turned State’s evidence in exchange for a presidential pardon.

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