A Norfolk business which fell prey to a gambling addict has had almost £1.3 million returned from the gambling institutions that took bets from Andrew May. May, of Dersingham, Norfolk, embezzled £1,336,916 from Sealskinz and was jailed for four years in June 2021.
No Due Diligence by Bookmaker
From 2014 to 2021, Andrew May placed thousands of bets with several bookmakers, some as large as £50,000. Betting records show that very little due diligence was done and that requests for information were doctored by May.
May lost around £437,000 with Betfair between 2014 and 2017, and £268,00 of that was stolen money. A Betfair VIP manager even sent him a message saying:
“Long time no speak. I noticed you are depositing less than previously, is everything OK?” When asked for proof of funds, May’s account was still not closed until eight months later.
Between 28 March 2017 and 3 May 2017, May gambled a whopping £500,000, building a balance of £240,000 which was then frittered away in only three days.
May also lost £600,000 between January 2017 and January 2019 at Betway, £461,000 of that attributed to stolen money. Doctored financial statements allowed him to continue betting and build a £1.2 million account balance which again was lost, this time in only 33 days.
After the conclusion of the case, the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU) sent financial investigators to work with the UK Gambling Commission to track down where all of the money went.
The bookmakers concerned voluntarily returned £1,243,110.45 and May was ordered to hand over his £49,500 in assets within six months or face a nine-month extension of his custodial sentence.
Senior Financial Investigation Manager Paul Fitzsimmons, from ERSOU’s Financial Investigations Team, said:
“This case once more underlines that ERSOU’s specialist financial investigators will continue to use the Proceeds of Crime Act and asset recovery powers to strip the assets of criminals. Our teams are committed to ensuring crime doesn’t pay and will leave no stone unturned as they look to return money to victims of crime.”
Norfolk YouTuber Hooked on Gambling at 14
A YouTuber from Norfolk has told how he became addicted to gambling at the age of 14, sometimes losing up to £12,000 in a single day.
Ellis Platten, now 25, encouraged vulnerable gamblers to seek help at a time when football betting advertisements were everywhere due to the FIFA World Cup. Platten is a football content creator with 224K subscribers who says he lost his love for the game after losing a small fortune with bookmakers that left him without funds to create quality content.
“I started gambling when I was 14 in high school with my mates. I didn’t think anything of it at the time, but my friends were able to reign it in whereas I got hooked by it. From then, it became a part of my daily routine. I had a paper round at the time, and would spend everything I earned on gambling. Then as I got older and made more money from working, I would also spend more on betting. It snowballed as I made more money, I gambled it all away because I was in a habit from a young age to lose everything I had earned. Online betting was so easy and accessible for a young person like me, it wasn’t difficult to put bets on within a second. It was at its worst just before I stopped – five years ago in 2017. There was one instance where I’d deposited £50 and had won £12k – which is a massive amount of money for a 19-year-old. It was all lost within an hour after a few more bets.”
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