This story was published more than 10 years ago.
A 40 year old English man plead guilty to committing fraud against investors, cheating them out of £3 million in order to feed his internet football betting habit.
Darren Thompson worked as an accountant when he got hooked on wagering. His initial success saw him offering his betting system to prospective investors, telling them that the system was foolproof.
However, the betting system was not as foolproof as Thompson had thought. His losses began to mount and 100 investors were out a whole lot of money. The victims in the scheme include Thompson's mother, his wife's family, and other associates with whom Thompson knew on some level.
The funds that Thompson brought in were used to buy himself expensive cars, a wedding, and various other trips abroad. While it may appear that Thompson was merely betting his associates' money, Thompson put out a series of brochures telling folks that the betting system was doing well and enticed the victims to invest even more money.
Speaking to the court, Thompson's lawyer said that the defendant's system was originally meant for personal use. He went on to say that, "Friends became interested in it and it was going well. The upshot was that Thompson began to believe in himself and his ability to win and make money and others joined him. Thompson fully believed in the viability of his system but at the beginning of 2007 problems began."
“Until he misled them with the brochures all the investors knew that he was betting with their money and that chance was a factor.”