Ladbrokes Coral Loses $800k Via Laminated Banknote Scam

Ladbrokes Coral Group

Four men in the United Kingdom were able to scam betting shops of Ladbrokes Coral out of $800,000 by using laminated banknotes.

Posting a bet is easy in the United Kingdom thanks to self-service kiosks. Players place cash inside the machine to bet, entering in all details via the controls of the kiosk. The option for betting is quick and simple, a popular choice for bettors in the country. Operators like Ladbrokes Coral have thousands of machines across the country, providing convenience for sports fans. Unfortunately for the operator, its machines were recently subject to a laminated banknote scam where $800,000 was taken by four men running the operation.

Charging Those Involved

Charlie Shaw, Paul Hubbold, Thomas Wheatcroft, and Michael Sadgove-Tarrant were seen in Kingston Crown Court last week, all pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud. The scam the men were running involved banknotes of £20 and £50 amounts that were laminated. The men attached a plastic cord to the notes and used the machine to bet.

After the money was added into the machine and the bet placed, the men would use the cord attached to the note to pull it out of the machine, essentially not paying for the wager. The fraudulent activity was conducted over 160 times in England involving Ladbrokes and Coral machines from June 2020 to July 2021.

The four men would wear the same outfit and use a disguise to hide their identity. This allowed the men to appear as one person on security cameras and caused confusing among authorities trying to catch the criminals.

Police eventually raided one of the homes of the men and found bags of clothes with identical items used in the scam. The scam was able to continue until outlets began to see that its takings were lower than they should be. Security surveillance footage helped to identify the men involved.

According to police the total loss for Ladbrokes Coral was over $885,000. This was a significant loss for the firms, and both worked with security officials to try and figure out who was involved and make an arrest.

Understanding the Scam

The elements of the scam were fairly simple. The men dressed in the same clothes and used the laminated bills to make deposits without actually adding funds into the kiosk. The group then had hundreds of pounds in deposits that could be used for betting.

However, it is unclear as to if the men decided to bet with the money or if they just cashed out the credits. By using the laminated bills, then men were able to see the machines accept the cash and they could easily be attached to a string to pull the cash back out.

This is not a new concept and one that was used many years ago when slot machines accepted coins. Players would scam the machine by adding coins with a string attached. Once the coin was counted in the machine, it could be pulled back out with the string, essentially playing for free.

One mistake the men did make was to wear the same clothing and keep it on site. It was the collection of clothing that made it easier for authorities to make arrests once they had suspects in mind and found the bags in one of the gang member’s homes.

The main offenders in the case were Hubbold and Sadgove-Tarrant. Both should serve a few years in prison for their involvement in the case. The other two could see sentencing suspended for their role.

Associate Writer: Suzie has extensive experience writing on a number of different topics, but writing on slots remains her first love, and it really shows.