Coral Assistant Manager Scammed Employer by Betting on Events After They Had Happened

Gavin Thomson, assistant manager at a branch of Coral bookmakers in Dundee, is charged with embezzlement after he discovered a glitch in the computer system that allowed him to bet on races and sports events after they had finished.


Gavin Thomson attempted to con his employer, Ladbrokes Coral, out of more than £40,000 after a glitch in the system presented him with an opportunity to place bets after matches had concluded. (Image: The Courier)

A former assistant manager of Dundee and Forfar branches of Coral was in court this week to plead guilty to two counts of embezzlement on indictment after he stumbled on a glitch in the company’s computer system that allowed him to bet on matches after the final whistle had blown.

Gavin Thompson employed friends as proxy bettors, supplying the stake and processing the transactions while they placed the bogus wagers at branches in the two eastern Scottish towns.

Prosecutors said there was a problem with Coral’s software that allowed bets to be placed retrospectively when Thomson changed the sport type of a bet that had been already inputted into the system.

Dead Certs

The court heard the defendant amassed more than £40,000 in fraudulent winnings between his discovery of the glitch, in October 2015, and an audit of the Forfar branch by Coral risk assessors that uncovered the fraud three months later.

In January 2016, Thomson was suspended from work while police launched an investigation.

Prosecuting lawyer Saima Rasheed told Dundee Sheriff Court that Thomson was raking in up to £1,000 per shift while running the con. She said the assessor discovered 64 illegal bets had been placed in the Forfar branch, netting Thomson £17,500, and 55 in Dundee, which brought in £22,800.

Prison Time Anticipated

At a preliminary hearing on August 7, Thomson’s defense solicitor, Sarah Russo, said her client planned to contest the charges, but he had changed his plea to guilty by the time he stood in the dock on Tuesday.

[Thomson] stated there was a glitch and he was going through a bad period of gambling and found it an easy way to get money back,” Rasheed told the court. “He said when he found the glitch he used it to his advantage. He said he involved customers and replied that it was to cover his tracks,

Russo said father-of-one Thomson had developed a gambling habit after the birth of his daughter and it had spiraled out of control. She described him as a “genuine first offender.”

Sentencing was postponed until September, pending social workers reports. However, Thomson is expected to receive a prison sentence.

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