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'Betfair king' turns out to be just another conman

Well, blow me down with a feather. The bloke who boasted to the News of the World a few years back that he was making millions out of Betfair was actually just a conman stealing money from 'investors' and blowing it on his own ego and an extravagant lifestyle.

The call went out quickly back in June 2009 when it first came out that it was utter tripe, but unfortunately there are always gullible people who will believe any old story told to them about get rich quick schemes, and they've done their money. The crook, Elliott Short, is currently on trial for 13 counts of fraud.

I was hoping for a slightly more reputable publication to post the story but instead I'll have to use the Daily Mail...

Gambler, 26, who called himself the 'Betfair King' conned friends out of £600,000 with betting scam to pay for designer clothes

A gambler who allegedly conned family friends out of £620,000 through a bogus betting scheme spent thousands of pounds shopping for designer clothes at Harrods and Ralph Lauren.

Elliott Short, 26, who lived in Chelsea, central London, was said to have claimed he was able to place successful bets on races and make large sums of money using a layered betting scheme.

But the horse racing expert lost more than £1million of his own money and cash given by investors through unsuccessful gambling and lavish lifestyle, Southwark Crown Court heard.

Christopher Antoniou allegedly invested £200,000 in Short’s betting system, hoping for huge profits - but he never saw the cash again and began to become suspicious after reading an article about the scheme in a newspaper.


I do love the concluding paragraphs in the original myth-busting article in the Guardian, it's very apt.

The most charitable explanation of how this baloney came to end up in a national newspaper is that the journalist in question was having his chain yanked. As the late Rocky Ryan proved so frequently, there are no end of "stories" that fall into the category of too good to check. A tale of £20m won for very little effort will not be the last of those.

But it is a reminder, too, of the complete ignorance that persists in much of the mainstream media when it comes to the business of betting. Something that many followers of racing take for granted, often on a daily basis, is still regarded with a mixture of awe, puzzlement and deep suspicion in the "outside" world.


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