Jonathan Howard, a 40-year-old resident of Stapleford Tawney, Essex, has been sentenced to five years in prison for conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation against online gambling operator Bet365. Despite denying all charges, Howard was convicted by Basildon Crown Court after a four-week trial.
Bet365 Fraud Scheme Unravelled
As announced by the Essex Police website, a man has been jailed for betting fraus. The scam involved a syndicate creating multiple online accounts to bypass Bet365’s limitations on single accounts. Consequently, the man collected bonuses that would not have been available under Bet365’s terms and conditions.
Howard managed to impersonate other users who willingly provided their details, accessing Bet365 services, bonuses, and evading the company’s security measures.
The fraudulent operation began in 2008 and involved over 1,000 online gambling accounts.
It is estimated that Howard received £236,000 throughout the course of the scam. Howard was also convicted of conspiracy to commit fraud against Santander Bank but was acquitted of money laundering charges.
Detective Sergeant Mike Monkton of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate stated, “The whole enterprise was dishonest and designed to deceive the gambling company.“
Investigation and Evidence
The lengthy and complex investigation began in 2018 after Bet365 notified authorities of suspicious activity.
A search warrant executed at Howard’s Stapleford Tawney residence in February 2019 uncovered paperwork in various names, receipts for luxury items, bank books, and 177 SIM cards. Authorities spent hours sifting through the evidence, which revealed that substantial sums of money were involved in the operation.
In conclusion, the conviction of Jonathan Howard sheds light on the importance of vigilance against fraudulent schemes in the iGaming industry.
It serves as a strong reminder for operators to enhance their security measures, implement stricter identity verification, and cooperate with authorities, ultimately fostering a safe and fair environment for all players.