Betting syndicate investors get money back

Friday, 08 August 2008 12:00

Investors in a betting syndicate are to have cash returned to them following a court order.

York Crown Court today issued an order from cash recovered from the director of betting syndicates 147 Racings An Top Bet Placement Services be returned.

A total of £58,745 will be given back to investors, following £100,000 returned via the Financial Services Authority (FSA) in March from frozen bank accounts.

The direct, Gary Woodward, was sentenced to three years in May for lying about the value of his assets to the FSA and for breaching a restraining order following successful action taken by the North Yorkshire Police.

The syndicates were advertised as being endorsed by snooker players John Parrot and Peter Ebdon and offered guarantees that money invested – a minimum of £500 – and then bet on customers’ behalf would grow tenfold in a year.

Initial membership fees grew from £97, but this grew to £477 a month after a year.

Investors were told that there was no risk in the scheme as if they did not win at least ten times their stake they would get back 12 months worth of the fees paid.

Margaret Cole, FSA director of enforcement, said: “Mr Woodward planned to get away with being dishonest but was caught. This judgement means that investors will get back a bit more of the money they lost.

“Our action and Mr Woodward’s prison sentence should show that we will take seriously anything less than complete candour and openness in dealings with the FSA.

She added: “Future and existing investors should always make sure that they deal with authorised companies so they are protected if things go wrong.”

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