Three men have been found guilty of a plethora of different offences under the Gambling Act 2005. The 42 offences were handed down after the Gambling Commission found them guilty of operating unlicensed adult gaming centres and a betting shop under Agora Bet. The Commission’s director of regulation, Nick Tofiluk said: “This prosecution sends out a message to those looking to profit from unlicensed gambling operations. Operators must be licensed in order to keep gambling fair and safe and the Commission will pursue individuals who offer unlicensed gambling facilities to the public.”
Assets and gaming machine equipment were seized from ten locations in London, the South East and South Midlands. After the six-day magistrates court trial they’re being passed to the Crown Court for sentencing.
A man has also been jailed after making £80,000 committing “Bonus Abuse”. 35-year-old Andrei Osipau made the money by creating a number of false identities using various passports, identity cards and false utility bills. He used these to start up accounts and was caught following a joint investigation by Metropolitan Police Gambling Unit detectives and Gambling Commission officials.
Bonus abuse works by setting up accounts under other names and benefiting from the free offers being dished out by betting firms. The scam was uncovered on February 26 last year when a betting firm received two UK passports bearing different names but the same picture within 12 minutes. It was reported to the relevant authorities and they found Osipau had masked his IP address to avoid detection. Upon arrival at his address there were 5,900 scans of passports, identity cards, utility bills and bank statements relating to people from countries including the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
Head of the Met’s gaming unit, Detective Inspector Ann-Marie Waller, said: “This joint investigation with the Gambling Commission demonstrates the Met’s commitment to combating high tech organised crime.
“The sentence imposed by the judge today should deter anyone considering committing crime involving stolen or compromised identities.”
Those comments came after Osipau was sentenced to three years in jail at Southwark Crown Court after he’d plead guilty to five counts of fraud, eight counts of possession of articles for use in fraud and one count of transferring criminal property at an earlier hearing.