St Albans man guilty of betting shop fraud

PUBLISHED: 06:30 29 August 2012

A GAMBLING cheat who illegally tried to earn nearly £4,000 while working at a betting shop was sentenced for six counts of fraud at St Albans Magistrates’ Court last Thursday.

Mohammed Ali, of Ennerdale Close, was ordered to serve a community order for making bets after races had ended at Ladbrokes, in St Peter’s Street between April 16 and April 24.

The court heard how the 35 year old, who pleaded guilty to the charges at an earlier trial, placed the fraudulent bets because he had started gambling and was having money problems.

Initially they started small with Ali acquiring £431 on the day of the first offence. Just over a week later he attempted to gain £1,547 but was caught before the bet could go through.

Jahangir Ali, prosecuting, said Ladbrokes carried out an internal investigation when the fraud came to light.

When questioned Ali refused to comment but immediately handed in his resignation and apologised for “letting down” his colleagues.

The prosecutor also said Ali had tried to cover up his illegal activity by making it difficult to see who had filled out the betting slips.

Kate Barbour, defending, appealed to magistrates to consider his early guilty plea and the “unsophisticated” nature of the crime.

She said: “What is not mentioned in the report is that he did start to gamble himself and it is for that reason he furthered his financial difficulties and that is the root of these offences.”

She added: “Ali is the sole provider for his wife and children. He is incredibly anxious about receiving a custodial sentence. He is concerned at the affect it would have on his family, the inevitable loss of his job and most likely the loss of their accommodation.”

When sentencing Ali the magistrate said the offences were serious enough to send him to prison but the bench had decided on a 12-month community order.

He must complete 200 hours unpaid work and cannot enter any branch of Ladbrokes in the UK for 12 months. Ali will also pay £2,356 in compensation to the betting shop and court costs of £85.

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