A gambling addicted father has been jailed for a year after stealing more than £40,000 from Coral bookies in Dundee and Angus in a Back to the Future-style scam.
Gavin Thomson, 27, was employed by the betting shop chain and found a glitch in the computer system that allowed him to place bets after events had finished.
He gave friends and punters cash to go into their branches in Dundee and Forfar to place bets on sporting events of which he already knew the results, guaranteeing wins, over a period of four months.
The fraud echoes the plot of science fiction film Back to the Future II, in which Biff Tannen travels back in time armed with a sports results almanac to make his fortune.
Defence lawyer Sarah Russo told Dundee Sheriff Court that Thomson’s deceit began out of “desperation” after he gambled all of his wages in one day and that he did not use the money to lead a “lavish” lifestyle.
She said: “He lives modestly, in a local authority home with his partner and child. All of the money he won was gambled away.
“At the time, he had an addiction that escalated. He was gambling on his lunch breaks and after work.
“On one occasion he gambled all of his wages in one day and was in a state of desperation.
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“He remembered about a glitch in the system that he had learned about and things escalated from there.”
Thomson, who was employed as an assistant manager at Coral, was raking in up to £1,000 per shift by running the con.
He was caught when a risk assessor carried out an audit of a payout made at the Forfar branch and the problem in the system was discovered.
The assessor discovered 64 bets placed after the events took place that had been processed by the accused in Forfar, as well as 55 in Dundee, amounting to a total of £40,300.
Thomson, 27, of Viewmount, Forfar, pled guilty on indictment to two charges of fraud committed between October 2015 and January 2016.
The court was told that since then Thomson, who is a first offender, has managed to get his gambling addiction under control and has been working as a labourer – a job he would lose upon going to prison.
Sheriff Alastair Carmichael jailed Thomson for a year.
He said: “The sum involved and the breach of trust mean I’ve come to the conclusion there’s no option other than custody.”