Flansham man sentenced for fraud scheme costing victims more than £4.9 million
A Flansham man and his nephew from Bexhill have been sentenced for carrying out a multimillion pound betting investment fraud.
Simon Reynolds a publican, 64, of Hoe Lane, Flansham, and nephew Ian Reynolds, 52, of Ninfield Road, Bexhill, appeared at Lewes Crown Court yesterday (Wednesday), having previously been convicted of fraud by false representation.
Simon was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment and Ian Reynolds was sentenced to three and a half years, police said.
In March 2020, Simon pleaded guilty to two counts covering a four year period. His nephew, meanwhile, pleaded not guilty.
In a trial in March 2021, police said Ian Reynolds was found not guilty of a count covering the first two years, but guilty of a second count covering 2010-2012.
Police said the prosecution followed an investigation carried out by East Sussex detectives into an online betting investment fraud scheme operated by the pair. Known as ‘Sporting profits’, it claimed to provide expert advice related to international sporting events.
Between 2008 and 2012, the pair operated two companies and were involved in the loss of more than £4.8 million from more than 100 victims across the UK and abroad, 25 of whom were from Sussex, police said.
Detective constable John Moore said the scheme was set up by Simon Reynolds, who claimed it could provide a monthly return of two per cent on any income invested, and that only one per cent of the money was ever at risk.
He also sent monthly updates to investors, falsely indicating that their investment had increased despite knowing the scheme was losing money from the outset.
The detective constable continued: “After extensive enquiries our expert financial investigation team identified 145 investors providing £4,271,963.00 to Simon Reynolds and £681,589.00 to Ian Reynolds making a total of £4.953,552.00.
“A total sum of £1,598,650.77 was subsequently repaid to some of the investors, but many have lost their pension, inheritances and life savings.
“The Reynolds used the remainder of the funds to repay their losses to the betting companies and also to fund their own living.”
Louise Whitehead, of the Criminal Prosecution Service (CPS), added: “After a complex investigation and prosecution by both Sussex Police and the Specialist Fraud Division of the CPS, the extent of the investment fraud committed by both defendants has been uncovered and some justice has now been obtained for the many victims.”