Skip to main content

The Ponzi scheme fallout is underway

What do you get when you have a individual fronting a Ponzi scheme with anywhere between $200-500m in funds that have disappeared, links to Melbourne's underworld and potentially thousands of investors who have lost anywhere from a week's takings in their own business, to their entire savings and nest egg for retirement? A bloody mess which soon turns nasty.

Vlahos bashed, car torched as BC3 Thoroughbreds turns ugly

Syndicate leaders bashed as investors face huge fleecing

You bet 600 Yarrawonga residents are angry at losing $74 million in punting club

Racing Victoria to investigate BC3 Thoroughbreds, alleged assault at Bill Vlahos property

Leading bookmakers in the dark over Bill Vlahos' alleged punting scheme

A lot of people have woken up to the stark realisation that if something seems too good to be true, it invariably is. The global financial crisis killed off strong returns from the stock and property markets, so people went looking for other 'easy' options. A costly lesson for many to learn, most will have little chance to recover these funds in the rest of their days.

Vlahos refused medical attention from an ambulance which suggests those links to the Melbourne underworld are more than just coincidence. One of my readers over the weekend pointed me towards photos with Vlahos alongside some of the names you are likely to find mentioned in the infamous TV series Underworld. Keep the ambulances out, keep the cops out - simple theory doubt he'll be able to do that for long...

Somewhat conveniently, Vlahos has very few assets to his name - the family house is in his wife's name. I reckon we've heard all this before in any number of scams. And bookmakers are rubbishing claims that any of the money was ever used for betting - the Australian market simply can't sustain that level of activity. So what are the chances of Daniel Maxwell actually existing?

Administrators have been called into BC3 - not 'The Edge' punting syndicate as there was never any paperwork or legal identity to it. So investors now face a second dose of being shafted - this time legally though, as administrators who take 80% of recovered funds for themselves are perfectly ethical and above board...

A lot of people on social media have been giving the racing media stick for not busting this open earlier. Damned if they do, damned if they don't. Would you be willing to go digging deep on your mates when you know there are links to the Mokbels and associates? When it would only take asking a couple of people to find out where you lived if you had opened Pandora's Box? I doubt I'd be writing this if I was back living in Melbourne!

Investigative journalists such as Nick McKenzie and Andrew Rule are very good at what they do. That is their niche, they know how to deal with all the flak that comes with such scandals. Many in the racing media will have been providing the background information for their investigations, but that is far as they should be taking it. Fawning over the 'big new players' in the industry though goes a tad too far - free lunches shouldn't be the way to buy favourable comment.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

It's all gone Pete Tong at Betfair!

The Christmas Hurdle from Leopardstown, a good Grade 2 race during the holiday period. But now it will go into history as the race which brought Betfair down. Over £21m at odds of 29 available on Voler La Vedette in-running - that's a potential liability of over £500m. You might think that's a bit suspicious, something's fishy, especially with the horse starting at a Betfair SP of 2.96. Well, this wasn't a horse being stopped by a jockey either - the bloody horse won! Look at what was matched at 29. Split that in half and multiply by 28 for the actual liability for the layer(s). (Matched amounts always shown as double the backers' stake, never counts the layers' risk). There's no way a Betfair client would have £600m+ in their account. Maybe £20 or even £50m from the massive syndicates who regard(ed) Betfair as safer than any bank, but not £600m. So the error has to be something technical. However, rumour has it, a helpdesk reply (not gospel, natur

What shits me about match-fixing 'journalism'.

The anti-wagering media bandwagon has dozens of new members this week, all weighing in an industry they have absolutely no idea about. I'm all for getting the betting industry into the mainstream but it shits me no end when they roll out reports and celebrities who simply don't have a clue what they are talking about and don't bother to check basic facts which key arguments in their story. If this was the financial industry, making errors like this would have them in all sorts of trouble, but the same level of regulation doesn't apply because finance stock markets are supposedly all legitimate and serious, whereas sports betting is just a bit of fun for people who can never win in the long-term... according to the media. This week we have seen the sting by the Telegraph which, on the face of it, looks to be a tremendous piece of investigative work into fixing in English football. But the headlines around it are over-sensationalised yet again. Delroy Facey, a former pla

Racing has a Ponzi scheme - and the fallout will be enormous

When the term ' Ponzi scheme ' is mentioned these days, the names Bernard Madoff and Allen Stanford instantly spring to mind. The pair of them ran multi-billion dollar frauds (US$60bn and $8bn respectively) that destroyed the lives of thousands of investors who had put their life savings into a 'wonderful' investment strategy. How so many people were sucked into the scheme is baffling to those on the outside. The lifestyle, the sales pitch, the success stories of the early investors - I suppose it all adds up. So where does this link to racing you ask? A prominent Australian 'racing identity' this week has been reported to have lost access to a bank account with punters' club funds of $194m in it. Firstly - is there a worse term for anyone to be labelled with that 'racing identity'? It ALWAYS ends up meaning shonky crook! Secondly - who the hell has a punters' club with an active bankroll in the tens of millions? It simply can't be done. T