$600 in Bonus Bets
Get your first bet matched with up to $600 in bonuses*
$600 Bonus Bet
Sign-up, deposit $400 & receive $600 in bonus bets. That's $1000 to bet with!*
$500 Matched Deposit
Sign-up and get your first deposit matched with up to $500 in bonus bets*
$500 in Bonus Bets
Sign-up and get your first bet matched with up to $500 in bonus bets*
*Conditions Apply. Excl VIC, NSW, SA & WA. Gamble Responsibly
Bill Vlahos scammed more than $120 million from members

Fallen Victorian racing identity Bill Vlahos scammed more than $120 million from members of his punting club through what was essentially a Ponzi scheme, a court has heard.

Have Your Say: What should Bill Vlahos’ punishment be? – Leave a comment below.

Vlahos faced the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Thursday accused of defrauding hundreds of investors through his scam betting syndicate The Edge between 2008 and 2013.

Prosecutor Lisa Andrews said Vlahos, who is charged with 373 counts of obtaining financial advantage by deception, was running “essentially a Ponzi scheme”, mostly via emails.

Named after 1920s Italian swindler Charles Ponzi, the scams use contributions from new investors rather than legitimate profits to keep cash flow going – until people stop joining.

Vlahos’s syndicate had more than 1000 members, including some of Melbourne’s top business people.

Punters believed their money was being placed on horse races and they were earning lucrative annual returns.

“Emails were distributed to the syndicate leaders, prompting them to continue to deposit funds,” Ms Andrews told the court.

“He sent out rather fulsome emails indicating what horses bets had been placed on.

“Then sends another follow up saying, ‘This week we have had a win’.”

But the prosecutor said these were fraudulent promises.

The syndicate collapsed in late 2013 when members wanted to cash out, and some lost more than $1 million.

Vlahos is also accused of attempting to destroy evidence by deleting emails he allegedly knew were likely to be used against him.

But defence lawyer John Saunders said the case lacked “particulars”, such as how the alleged deception occurred on each count.

“We’re entitled to know the basis of each charge,” Mr Saunders said.

“What representation has induced that (payment)? When were they made?”

The court heard the lead detective is working through a 35,000-page brief of the complex case, compiled with the help of forensic accountants.

“He says he’s going through (the brief) at a rate of 500 to 700 pages a day,”Ms Andrews said.

Vlahos previously faced a multi-million dollar civil lawsuit over the punting club’s collapse and he declared bankruptcy in December 2013.

He is due to return to court for a mention in November and a four-week committal hearing has been scheduled for March 2018.

 
Deposit $50, Bet with $250
Sign-up, deposit $50 & receive $200 in bonus bets. That's $250 to bet with!*
*Conditions Apply. Excl VIC, NSW, SA & WA. Gamble Responsibly
Tags:
  • DEPOSIT $400
    start betting
    with
    $1000*
    CLAIM NOW
  • first bet
    matched
    up to
    $600*
    CLAIM NOW
  • DEPOSIT $50
    start betting
    with
    $200*
    CLAIM NOW
  • first bet
    matched
    up to
    $500*
    CLAIM NOW
*Conditions Apply. Excl VIC, NSW, SA & WA. Gamble Responsibly
* All Offers and Promotions posted in this article exclude NSW residents.
Featured News

Over $5,000 in Bonus Free Bets

Just Horse Racing provides readers with the best Free Bet offers available at every online bookmaker in Australia during the...

Jeff Lloyd announces retirement

Champion jockey Jeff Lloyd has confirmed the 2018 Brisbane winter carnival will be his last. Lloyd was a special guest...

Regan Bayliss dumped from Royal Ascot ride

Despite riding Redkirk Warrior to three Group One wins, jockey Regan Bayliss won’t get the chance to ride the champion...

Waller rules out The Everest and Melbourne Cup for Winx

Trainer Chris Waller has put to bed any rumours that Winx may run in this years $13m Everest or the...

Victorian trainer guilty of punching horse

A Seymour trainer has been found guilty of punching a horse numerous times to the head on the side of...

 
 
 
Copyright © 2017 Just Horse Racing.
All rights reserved.

Gamble Responsibly 18+
*State exclusions apply to some offers. Please check T&Cs of each offer with the bookmaker. All Offers Exclude NSW residents.