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An accountant from UK gambled away money belonging to investors

The claim of the defendant was that he had successful system of betting, the Court overheard

This week the UK’s Canterbury Crown Court heard that an accountant, aged 40, who worked in the City and earned GBP 150,000 a year, had stolen GBP 3 million from investors, and for the most part has spent the money on online football betting and rich lifestyle.

The Kentonline publication reports that Daren Thompson, the 40-year-old chartered accountant, gambled the money of his investors by placing bets online on football matches outcomes. The court received information that he initially enjoyed success with his allegedly lucrative system for gambling, but as more and more investors were drawn into his scheme for a European Football Growth Fund, losses begun to mount, and he felt more and more desperate for additional funds from investors.

The glossy brochure he produced contained false information about the return levels. It enticed even more people to lose cash with the system, which had been characterized by Stuart Biggs, the prosecutor, as nothing more than a scam for stealing money from those involved.

The 100 investors pulled in by Thompson, his own mother included, lost GBP 50,000. The family of his wife lost GBP 300,000 and another woman invested GBP 200,000, which is also lost.

Pleading guilty to the charges, Thompson admitted that he had made up his mind to spend a large amount of money on an expensive lifestyle, purchasing expensive cars, a wedding in Las Vegas and a number of international trips. He also built up a property portfolio spending GBP 947,000.

The lawyer of Thompson said of his client that he had trusted in his system, which had been exclusively devised for use by himself.

“Initially it was working well and friends became interested in it,” said the lawyer. “Thompson completely trusted in himself and his ability to make money and constantly win. This made others join him too but at the start of 2007 problems began to pile up.

“Until the investors discovered that he had misled them with the brochures they all had known that chance was a factor and he was betting with their money.”

Heather Norton, the presiding judge, sentenced Thompson to a jail term of four years and eight months: “Your investors without a doubt were reassured by your investment and football background and by the glossy brochures you provided them with. Unfortunately, by the start of 2006, as far as it comes to your investors interests, you would have been left in no doubt that the scheme is not working at all.”

According to Judge Norton, every day ever since 2004-10 the system started producing a loss. However, the brochures claimed that it was generating profits.

Stuart Champion, the investigation officer detective, said: “Thomson lied to some of his closest investors and friends abusing the trust they placed in him.

“Providing them with false data, he produced complex documents like a prospectus and executive summary to win over their trust and convince them to invest their money in the undertaking.

“Although some of the money were invested into bets they were lost as there was never a profit made by Thompson during the time he led the syndicate.

“The rest of the raised amount, GBP 3 million, Thompson spent on holidays, expensive cars and his wedding while his investors had hard time struggling to meet their everyday expenses.”