Paper caught in gambling fraud prints false results

THE METROPOLITAN Police and senior staff at the Racing Post were trying to work out yesterday how - and by whom - the results of four greyhound races were deliberately altered before they appeared in Monday's edition of the newspaper.

The changes were part of an attempted betting fraud that might have earned as much as pounds 50,000 for those involved. Although it was only partially successful, at least one betting shop manager has learnt the hard way that you should not believe everything you read in the papers.

The four races involved took place at Reading and Yarmouth, two of the country's smallest greyhound tracks, on Saturday night. The correct results were transmitted to the Racing Post by the Press Association on Sunday morning. When they appeared in the following day's edition, however, the names of three of the winners had been changed. The starting price of a fourth, a hot favourite at 11-10, had been altered to a far more rewarding 3-1.

Since the closure of the Sporting Life on 12 May, the Racing Post is the only readily available source of information from the more obscure corners of the betting world.

Bets involving the four rogue winners, including several linking them in rolling accumulators with total odds as high as 199-1, had been placed on Saturday evening at a number of betting shops. Most were in east London and Essex, including branches of William Hill, Coral and the Tote, but a few found their way to a betting shop in Humberside.

The Racing Post, complete with its false results, arrived at the betting shops on Monday morning, and so did several punters hoping to collect their "winnings". For various technical reasons, several bookmakers were suspicious of the bets.

Before long, the Betting Office Licensees' Association, the major bookmakers' trade organisation, had been alerted, and a warning was issued that bookies should suspend payments on bets involving the races. The Racing Post informed the Metropolitan Police of the situation, and an investigation into possible deception began.

A number of the hopeful punters were told that insufficient funds were available to pay them and were asked to return later. None of them did.

Payment of all bets would have cost the Tote about pounds 20,000 and Jennings, an Essex betting shop chain, pounds 18,000. A William Hill outlet paid pounds 200 on one bet before payments were suspended, while Coral handed over a similar amount, but the biggest loser appears to have been the Ted Hornby betting shop in Withernsea, near Hull.

A pounds 10 treble, apparently due a return of exactly pounds 2,000 at odds of 199- 1, was paid out at the shop on Monday morning. "The bet itself wasn't unusual," Janet Alexander, the manager, said yesterday. "What was unusual was that the three dogs copped at such big prices, but there was no reason to think there was anything untoward.

"How on earth anyone has managed to come as far as Withernsea with a scam like this is incredible. We're the last thing here before you fall into the North Sea."

The police inquiry will start in the Post's offices, but such is the integration of the computer systems of all the newspapers based in Canary Wharf tower in Docklands, east London - including The Independent - that it may be that anyone on one of several floors could have altered the relevant files on Saturday evening.

Both the Post and the police, however, will be hoping that their investigation does not take the same path as that which followed a similar case - the Trodmore Hunt coup - which took place exactly 100 years ago this month.

The Sporting Life was persuaded to carry the card for a fictitious race meeting, and then the "results", which were supplied from the same source the following day. A number of bookies paid out substantial bets on the races that never took place - and those involved were never caught.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Property
house + home
Arts and Entertainment
tvGame of Thrones season 5 ep 4, review - WARNING: contains major spoiliers!
Life and Style
Bats detect and react to wind speed and direction through sensors on their wings
tech
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
Sport
Danny Jones was in the Wales squad for the 2013 World Cup
rugby leagueKeighley Cougars half-back was taken off after just four minutes
Life and Style
The original ZX Spectrum was simple to plug into your TV and get playing on
techThirty years on, the ZX Spectrum is back, after a fashion
News
Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn are breaking up after nearly three years together
peopleFormer couple announce separation in posts on their websites
Sport
football
Life and Style
Google celebrates Bartolomeo Cristofori's 360th birthday
techGoogle Doodle to the rescue
Arts and Entertainment
Haunted looks: Matthew Macfadyen and Timothy Spall star in ‘The Enfield Haunting’
tvThe Enfield Haunting, TV review
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living