Brighton twins jailed for £5m horse-race betting scam

Posted On 02 Jun 2010 at 7:58 am

Twin brothers from Brighton who conned £5m with betting and investment scams have been jailed for seven years.

Paul and Gregory Spicer, both 35, conspired with Lee O’Donnell, 62, to defraud using a series of horse race betting leaflets to advertise an elaborate sting.

Using the names John ‘Jock’ McCracken, Robert Carter Racing, and Paul Howell Racing, they set up a betting syndicate which ran from April 2003 until February 2008.

Victims throughout the UK who were sent the unsolicited leaflets fell for the scam

Paul Spicer, 35, of Dyke Road,  Gregory Spicer, of The Drove,  and O’Donnell, of Eaton Gardens, Hove, were convicted of conspiracy to defraud yesterday at Lewes Crown Court, sitting in Brighton, after a five-week trial.

Paul and Gregory Spicer each received seven years’ imprisonment and Lee O’Donnell received 21 months’ imprisonment.

Detective Constable Valerie Henwood said: “This was an excellent example of co-operation between law enforcement agencies. We separately had information about the activities of these men but were soon able to work together and eventually bring them to court.

“This case serves as a timely reminder to horse racing punters – be very careful about entrusting your money to anyone. The old saying applies – is something looks to good to be true, it usually is.”

The charges, which were authorised by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) Central Fraud Group followed a joint investigation between Sussex Police and London Borough of Merton Trading Standards named Operation Cantonese, initiated in 2006 by the Sussex Police Major Fraud Unit.

Restraint orders are already in place for the defendants’ possession when they were arrested last year and police now plan formal confiscation proceedings against them.

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