Director in £7m betting scam banned for 12 years

THE director of a betting company which went bust with debts of more than £7m has been disqualified for 12 years following an Insolvency Service investigation.

Andrew Laird Hosie, 44, ran Gambling Insight Ltd, based in Birminghm, as an investment vehicle for arbitrage gambling.

This was a system  where bets were placed with different betting companies to enable the punter to make a profit, regardless of the outcome by using the variance in odds offered by different bookmakers.

It was facilitated by software which scanned the online betting markets to detect the bookmakers at which the appropriate bets should be placed.

Hosie, who lives in Cheshire, had obtained an estimated £7.161m from both direct investors and syndicates, under representations that the gambling of the investment monies was virtually risk free.
Claims were made including that “It is a Mathematical Certainty we will win and profit TAX FREE”.

However, after the company went into administration, practically none of the £7,161,221 has been traced, due to the inadequacies in the company accounting records.

In addition, Hosie has admitted that he made a number of misleading statements to investors, or conversely failed to inform them of material events and actions:

•    He continued informing new and existing investors of the low risks of the investment after losing an estimated £2.5m of syndicate money in February 2014.

•    He failed to inform new and existing investors that he began gambling with their monies from that time, contrary to his agreement with them that arbitrage gambling would be conducted at no risk.

•    He sent screenshots to investors from July 2014 which showed healthy balances on those accounts, which he knew to be untrue, and:

•    He informed syndicate investors that over £1m of investor monies were frozen in a bank account, when he knew that that too was untrue.

The disqualification prevents Hosie from directly or indirectly becoming involved in the promotion, formation or management of a company for the duration of their disqualification terms.

David Brooks, group leader at The Insolvency Service, said: “Mr Hosie promoted this investment as practically risk free. However, the truth of the matter was that Mr Hosie has lost the investors money through a combination of gambling and a failure to keep records which would show how it has been disposed of, through the thousands of gambling accounts operated by the company.

“This is serious misconduct and the high period of disqualification should serve as a message that honesty and openness is an essential element of a director’s role.”