Investors of betting scheme, The Winning Express, could lose out

6 December 2016

Promoted by ex-footballers Steve Claridge and David Hurst, The Winning Express is a sports betting investment scheme offering risk-free returns. According to the BBC, authorities have been warned about the company before. 

The scheme began in 2011 with reports claiming it was run by Graham Bradbury, who had previously been disqualified as a director. Bradbury declared bankruptcy in 2013 after running a pyramid scheme that caused investors to lose £500,000. He died in November this year in Spain, according to the Foreign Office.

Those investing were promised 2% tax-free interest every month through ‘sporting arbitrage’. Betters would profit regardless of the result by placing bets on each outcome with different companies. It is claimed investors put in £27 million in total to The Winning Express scheme.

Concerns about The Winning Express increased over the last few years after it was found commission was given to those who attracted new investors to the scheme. By 2015, the regular payments to investors became unpredictable and the company ceased trading in 2016. The company was reported to the FCA in 2014 and then to the Serious Fraud Office in 2015. 

A consortium is currently taking legal action against the company, hoping an international investigation will retrieve lost money for investors. The local police aren't in charge as the company is registered offshore. A third party company had been involved with The Winning Express in the UK, however the scheme had been run through a company called Milton Express which operated in The Seychelles. A director’s identity can be anonymous there.  

There is no indication or suggestion that footballers Claridge and Hurst were involved in any wrongdoing.