Thursday 25 April 2013

Elliot Short Of A Few Million

Towards the end of yesterday's post, I mentioned that a reality in the betting world is that most people in it are looking for easy money, and that strategies requiring a little research and patience don't seem to be too popular.

Not long after keying those words of wisdom, I noticed that the 'Elliot Short Of A Few Brain Cells” post from way back in June 2009 was receiving a lot of fresh hits. A little puzzling given the age of the story, originally published in the News of the World and widely dismissed on the Betfair Forum at the time, and indeed by Betfair themselves, but I guessed that the surge in interest was for a reason, and that reason turned out to be the start of the subject’s trial on thirteen counts of fraud and one count of making or supplying an article for use in fraud.

It’s alleged that one person (James Crawford) lost £400k and another (Christopher Antoniou) £200k, while others lost lesser amounts as they apparently handed over what I would consider enormous sums of money for Short to work his magic with. Invest £400k, and reap a monthly dividend of £70k. That really would be a magic trick. Why can't my financial advisers do that?

When I wrote my original post on the subject, one Arthutfaxsake wrote:
I know the kid, and the amount of winnings the NOTW posted [£20million] is correct, although how he did it is not - he didn't participate in the article, but was set up by an undercover reporter.
Oh really? Well, either he didn't know the kid, or he was quite probably one of the victims deceived by a few fake screenshots, as Elliot Short allegedly had quite a lot to do with the original News of the World article, and who swallowed the follow-up lie by Short that he had asked Betfair to release their statement as "he wasn’t happy with the story and publicity".

A couple of months later I wrote, unusually for me, a little sarcastically:

Of course, Elliot Short made millions, but then he had a well thought out strategy that no one else had thought of which was to make up a story and find a reporter who was too lazy to take any time to verify the story and the millions turned out to be as real as Santa Claus.
Scott Ferguson suggested at the time "It sounded like a glory-seeking tosser making ludicrous claims", but unfortunately it appears to be more serious than that with at least three victims, and while they have only themselves to blame, I hope the money was amounts they could afford to lose.

Greg Wood of the Guardian reported at the time that the story:
was drivel — and dangerous drivel at that — from top to bottom, as anyone with even a faint acquaintance with Betfair could see.
The old canard that some people have more money than sense is never truer than when something appears to be too good to be true. It usually is. 

The trial is expected to last for three weeks and it promises to tell a sorry tale. I’m sure many of us will be following with interest.

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